Tyler, Tx — The West Nile virus continues to spread across Texas, and in the last week, the number of cases has surpassed the 1000 mark.
So far, 1066 cases of the virus have been reported in 87 counties statewide, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services website.
Of those reported, 43 have been fatal, 523 are labeled as West Nile Neuroinvasive Disease and 543 as West Nile Fever. WNF is a febrile syndrome which causes flu-like symptoms. WNND infects the central nervous system causing meningitis, encephalitis, meningoencephalitis or a poliomyelitis-like syndrome.
This is the largest outbreak of West Nile in Texas since 2007 when 17 people were killed.
State health officials encourage people to follow the "Four Ds" rule.
- Use insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
- Dress in long sleeves and long pants when you are outside.
- Stay indoors at dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
- Drain standing water where mosquitoes breed. Common breeding sites include old tires, flowerpots and clogged rain gutters.
Here's a look at East Texas counties affected by West Nile: