Risks of West Nile Virus in El Paso
POSTED: Thursday, August 12, 2010 - 12:15pm
UPDATED: Thursday, August 12, 2010 - 1:42pm
EL PASO -- There are now two confirmed cases of West Nile Virus in humans in El Paso County.
But experts say only a small portion of people infected will ever get seriously sick. The virus is contracted through mosquito bites.
You could have it and not even know it, because experts say the majority of people who are infected with West Nile Virus experience minor or even no symptoms at all.
"They're going to be exposed and maybe have a little fever, headache or a rash. It will go away and they will recover and have immunity against the infection," said Armando Meza, with the Texas Tech Paul L. Foster School of Medicine.
Still, experts say you should always use insect repellant when spending time outside. Those most at risk for serious complications, even death, from West Nile Virus are the elderly and people with compromised immune systems.
Last year in El Paso County there were 18 cases of the virus reported and two people died.