Three of the cases have been reported in Terrell and one is in the city of Kaufman. Kaufman County Emergency Management Coordinator Steve Howie is waiting for notification from the Department of State Health Services as to the zip codes of the other two West Nile Cases in Kaufman County. There is speculation that one case may be from Forney, but that has not been verified from officials. It is likely that there are more cases of West Nile in Kaufman County than have been reported. Some people experiencing flu like symptoms are unaware that they have the West Nile flu strain.
Kaufman County reports cases of West Nile Virus
The City of Forney has already begun spraying for mosquitos and will spray again in the evenings of August 26, September 9, and September 23, 2012. However, those living in the county portions of Kaufman County will not receive the spraying. Kaufman County has deemed it as not cost effective at this time. What that means for Forney residents like those living in Windmill Farms and Travis Ranch is that their sub-divisions will not be treated for mosquitos. All residents should take precautions to prevent being infected with the West Nile Virus. (See CDC West Nile fact sheet here).
The difference between the neuroinvasive strain of West Nile versus the flu strain can mean the difference between life and death. The flu will leave you with a headache, fever, muscle stiffness, swollen glands, and fatigue. However, the neuroinvasive strain can cause swelling and irritation of the brain. It can cause meningitis, seizures, body tremors, and even visual problems. West Nile is transmitted by a bite from an infected mosquito, and pets can be infected with WNV if they are bitten by a WNV carrying mosquito. The virus cannot be transmitted from pets to humans, nor from one person to another, it is not contagious.
According to Howie, “A new regional phone bank has been activated and will begin to address general West Nile Virus questions from the public on August 16, 2012.” He said that operators will answer questions based on a FAQ sheet provided by the CDC. The phone bank will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The hotline number is 817-264-4612.