West Nile virus confirmed in Presidio County
By ALBERTO TOMAS HALPERN
PRESIDIO COUNTY – According to Physician Assistant and Marfa Country Clinic director Don Culberson, there is one confirmed case of the West Nile Virus in Presidio County.
“There is one confirmed case and two unconfirmed cases,” Culberson said Wednesday afternoon. “That will be reported to the (Texas Department of State Health Services) and the (Centers for Disease Control).”
He added that he believes the confirmed case of the virus originated in Presidio County, citing travel patterns for the patient, but will let the CDC and state health department make the ultimate call on that.
As for the confirmed and unconfirmed patients, Culberson said that, “Everyone is good. Nobody has the fatal encephalitis.”
The three patients are all adults in their middle years, and include men and women.
West Nile virus symptoms are similar to flu symptoms, and include headaches and debilitating muscle pain.
“All of them had headaches,” Culberson said of the three patients.
The virus is spread through infected mosquitoes.
According to the CDC, 48 states have reported West Nile infections in people, birds, or mosquitoes as of September 11, 2012.
“The 2,636 cases reported thus far in 2012 is the highest number of West Nile virus disease cases reported to CDC through the second week in September since 2003. Two thirds of the cases have been reported from six states (Texas, Louisiana, South Dakota, Mississippi, Michigan, and Oklahoma) and 40 percent of all cases have been reported from Texas,” the CDC says.
Culberson advised residents not to panic. “This is not about hysteria, this is about mosquito repellant. Repellant and screen (doors). That’s what they do in Uganda with Malaria, and that’s what we do in Marfa with West Nile.”
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