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Ganado man diagnosed with West Nile virus

By Jennifer Lee Preyss
Oct. 1, 2012 at 5:01 a.m.
Updated Oct. 2, 2012 at 5:02 a.m.


WEST NILE VIRUS FACTS:

West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne illness.

Up to 80 percent of people infected with West Nile virus will have no symptoms and will recover on their own.

Some cases cause serious illness or death.

People over 50 years old, or those with weakened immune systems are at a higher risk of becoming ill if infected.

Wearing insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus will help prevent infection.

Other preventative measures include: wearing long sleeves and long pants when outside; staying indoors at dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active; draining standing water where mosquitoes breed; avoiding common breeding sites such as old tires, flowerpots and clogged rain gutters.

SOURCE: Texas Department of State Health Services

A Ganado man is recovering from the West Nile virus, days after he was infected by the mosquito-borne illness.

The 68-year-old retiree, who asked not to be identified, said he began experiencing flu-like symptoms last week, including fever, body aches, physical weakness and blurred vision.

He said he visited his regular doctor and tested positive in a blood test on Thursday.

"I'm taking an antibiotic and I feel better," he said. "I was already getting over it when they found out it was West Nile."

The infected man said he lives on a 44-acre ranch and mosquitos are prevalent throughout the property.

"I don't remember being bit. I live out in the country. Mosquitos are everywhere," he said.

Allan Friedrich, Jackson County's emergency management coordinator, released a statement Monday encouraging residents in the area to take preventative measures against mosquitos in the area that might be carrying the virus.

The Texas Department of State Health Services' website claims Texas has reported the highest number of West Nile cases since the virus was discovered in the state in 2002. More than 1,400 cases have been reported, many of them contained to Dallas County.

Health officials suggest a daily use of insect repellent containing DEET, especially when removing standing water.

The Ganado man infected by the virus also suggests that anyone experiencing symptoms should seek medical treatment.

"If they think they've got it, they just need to go to the doctor," he said. "It has all different kinds of symptoms and can bring on a bacterial infection."

Related stories:

A Victoria woman died Aug. 24 from West Nile virus while visiting family in Dallas.

A grandmother worries her grandson has West Nile

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