Wednesday, October 21, 2020

First West Nile Fever Case Confirmed in Southlake

The City of Southlake has received official confirmation of its first human case of West Nile fever from the Tarrant County Health Department’s West Nile Virus Monitoring Division. Specifics about the patient are being kept confidential by Tarrant County in the interest of privacy.  It is unknown where she contracted the fever.

West Nile Fever is mild form of the virus which includes flu like symptoms such as fever, headache, tiredness, and body aches, occasionally with a skin rash (on the trunk of the body) and swollen lymph glands.  West Nile Virus symptoms include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, paralysis and possibly coma.  If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these symptoms, please check with a doctor immediately.  Members of at risk populations, young children and seniors are especially vulnerable this time of year and should take pre-cautions.

This latest human case of West Nile in North Texas serves as an important reminder to residents to take added preventative measures.  The City of Southlake is urging everyone to follow “The 4Ds” to help keep West Nile Fever and West Nile Virus in check,” said Kyle Taylor Southlake’s Emergency Management Coordinator.

The 4Ds

  • DRAIN standing water in the areas around your property. Change the water in pet dishes and replace the water in bird baths weekly. Drill holes in tire swings so water drains out. Keep children’s wading pools empty and on their sides when they aren’t being used. When you are outdoors, use insect repellent containing DEET.
  • Use an insect repellent containing DEET (N-diethyl-m-toluamide).
  • Stay indoors during DUSK and DAWN, as these are the times when mosquitos are most active.
  • DRESS in long sleeves and pants when you have to be outside. For extra protection, spray your clothes with a thin layer of insect repellent containing DEET. Also, make sure you have good screens on your windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.

Residents should know that the City of Southlake has been collecting mosquitoes for testing for the past couple of months to determine whether any were carrying the West Nile Virus. They previously confirmed that two samples of mosquito larvae that were collected did test positive. The infected larvae were discovered in the southern and northern sections of the City.   City Staff has treated the areas with larvicide and will continue to monitor the areas over the coming months until the West Nile threat subsides.

“The City has treated all known standing pools of water within City limits,” said Public Works Director Bob Price.  “We are asking the public to keep a close eye on standing water on their property and to place briquettes into the water to stave off the mosquitos and their larvae.”

Citizens are encouraged to reduce the threat of West Nile by disposing of any standing water on their property including; bird baths, dog bowls, rain gutters or any other area where stagnant water can pool.  This will greatly help reduce the chance of finding more infected mosquitoes in our area. Also, residents are urged to avoid or take extra precautions around known breeding grounds such as ponds; storm drains creek-beds and other similar areas.

To help in reducing more cases of West Nile mosquitoes, the City of Southlake is offering  larvacide briquettes to residents. Each briquette will treat 100 square feet of water and will last for about 30 days if not washed away. The briquettes are available for purchase at any home improvement store or Southlake residents can pick up briquettes at the following locations:

  • Southlake Community Center, 400 N. White Chapel Boulevard – (Monday – Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.)
  • Public Works Operations, 1950 E. Continental Boulevard

If you would like additional information regarding West Nile Virus, please visit the City’s West Nile Virus webpage.  If you see a mosquito problem in a public space, you can report it by using the City’s “Come Fix This!” this form.