WilCo Health Officials testing woman for West Nile

Possible West Nile case in Williamson County

GEORGETOWN, TEXAS - Williamson County health officials are looking into a woman's illness because they're concerned she could have the West Nile Virus. The news comes days after the county reported having a different probable case.

According to John Teel, Executive Director of the Williamson County and Cities Health District, the woman was taken to the hospital and treated for meningitis, which means she has an infection of the covering of the brain.

But it's where she lives that drew the attention of the staff at the health district. This past Friday, officials reported a Georgetown man over the age of 55 is suspected of having West Nile virus, which is transmitted from birds to humans through mosquitoes.

Teel said the woman lives within a one-mile radius of that man and the mosquitoes that carry the disease, known as the Southern House mosquito, only fly in a one-mile radius which is why they are keeping a close eye on her case.

"We're not calling it a suspect West Nile Virus case but we will follow the blood test results and any other test results for that particular patient to see if indeed it has anything to do with a mosquito born disease. We don't know that it does or does not at this time," Teel explained.

The City of Georgetown will complete its third and final day of mosquito spraying in the neighborhood where both patients live Tuesday night. Crews are scheduled to start spraying at 9:00 p.m. 

Since July, nine pools of mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile in Williamson County, including two in Georgetown. Health officials say there's no such thing as a safe mosquito bite now, so they're encouraging people to wear insect repellent and dump standing pools of water.

By the end of the week, staff at the hospital will know if the woman's illness was caused by a mosquito-spread disease based off of the preliminary results.

(© 2016 KVUE)


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