KBTX | Bryan & College Station, TX | News, Weather, Sports

West Nile Still a Concern

By: Carly Kennelly
By: Carly Kennelly

The threat of west nile still lingers in Brazos County.

"Because we are having a lot of wet weather and that the temperatures are still relatively warm, we're still in a mosquito conductive environment. In other words, mosquitoes are still going to be around even though we're well into winter," said Brazos County health authority Dr. Charles Williams.

This year's season was unlike the ones in the recent past. Far fewer cases popped up and some methods of testing the virus changed. The Brazos County Health Department can now test birds for west nile in-house and get the results within 20 minutes. Williams wishes the same could be true for human testing.

"The test that we're really doing for the birds themselves is really not sensitive for human detection, so there's no rapid suave analysis for the human population," said Williams.

In November, the Centers for Disease Control confirmed the first positive west nile virus human case in the area. But, it took over three months to find out. Williams said it's frustrating to wait that long, but without a cure, it doesn't make much of a difference.

"Since there is no treatment for west nile you will be labeled with quote un-quote viral until you have a specific identification of the organism," said infectious disease specialist Dr. Ricardo Lemos.

The College Station resident who tested positive has completely recovered. But, authorities ask that you continue to use insecticide with DEET, try to avoid being outside at dawn and dusk, dress with long sleeved shirts, and drain any standing water.


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