May 15, 2015
Post By: Children's Health
After the season’s first positive mosquito-trap test in Cedar Hill, Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) is preparing early for the West Nile virus season and urging county residents to do the same.
According to Jeffrey Kahn, M.D., Director of Infectious Disease at Children’s Medical Center Dallas, there is a lot of variability in the number of West Nile virus cases from season to season, so it is hard to predict how much activity will be seen in a given year.
“The first indication of West Nile in the area is through the county,” Dr. Kahn says. “Since a positive mosquito test has been discovered, we know we may start seeing some cases in the community.”
Now that mosquito season has arrived, take precautions to protect your children from mosquito exposure.
Five Tips to Avoid Mosquitos
How Dangerous Is West Nile Virus?
You can help limit the spread of West Nile virus by draining any standing water around your house to eliminate breeding areas for mosquitoes as much as possible. DCHHS recommends changing the water in wading pools, bird baths and pet dishes several times a week.
Fortunately, the majority of children who get West Nile virus will have no symptoms at all. A small percentage will develop flu-like symptoms. Fewer than 1% of people who contract the virus will develop the most severe form of West Nile virus, which attacks the nervous system. Take your child to the emergency room if he or she has any of the following symptoms:
“A child with any of the symptoms listed should be tested for West Nile virus,” Dr. Kahn says.
Dr. Kahn also cautions parents to be mindful of county spraying schedules and keep children and pets inside when the county is spraying for mosquitoes.
To find out when mosquitoes that are carrying West Nile virus have been discovered in your area and to review the county’s spraying schedule, visit the Dallas County website or your local county’s website if you live elsewhere.
Sign up to get updates on what's new at Children’s Health!
Thank you for subscribing to the Children's Medical Center Newsletter.