Fort Worth, Texas,
08:54 AM

West Nile

What are the symptoms?

A mosquito has tested positive for West Nile virus in Tarrant County for the first time in 2014, according to the Tarrant County Public Health Department.

The mosquito was recently trapped in Benbrook, near the southwestern border of Fort Worth, and the test results were confirmed Wednesday Last year, TCPH reported its first WNV positive mosquito sample during the last week of June.

Most children with West Nile virus have only mild, flu-like symptoms that last a few days. Symptoms usually appear within three to 14 days of infection. If you expect your child has West Nile, it’s important to get the child seen by a pediatrician who can evaluate the child appropriately and if necessary refer the child to an Infectious Disease specialist or do the appropriate lab work.  

Parents can take care of themselves and their child by taking a few simple protective measures:

The majority of people (70-80%) who become infected with West Nile virus don’t develop any symptoms.

About 1 in 5 infected people will develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash.  The majority of those with this type of West Nile virus disease recover completely, but fatigue and weakness can last for weeks or months.

Less than 1% of people who are infected will develop a serious neurologic illness such as encephalitis or meningitis (inflammation of the brain or surrounding tissues).

  • The symptoms of neurologic illness can include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors, seizures, or paralysis.
  • People with certain medical conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension and kidney disease are also at greater risk for serious illness.
  • Recovery from severe disease may take several weeks or months. Some of the neurologic effects may be permanent.
  • About 10 percent of people who develop neurologic infection due to West Nile virus will die.The elderly are more likely to have complications of West Nile Virus.


  • No vaccine or specific antiviral treatments for West Nile virus infection are available.
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers can be used to reduce fever and relieve some symptoms
  • In severe cases, patients often need to be hospitalized to receive supportive treatment, such as intravenous fluids, pain medication, and nursing care.
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