The Texas Department of State Health Services confirmed 28 new cases of the West Nile virus on Thursday.
“We have 1,711 cases this year, and the majority of the cases are still in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex area,” said Christine Mann, a spokeswoman for the state agency. “We are still seeing cases throughout the state, but not nearly as many as we did at the beginning of the season.”
Coryell County experienced its most recent case on Oct. 18. The latest case for Bell County was confirmed in August.
According to the agency’s website, Coryell County has two confirmed cases with no fatalities from the virus, while Bell County has 10 with two deaths.
Seventy-seven people throughout the state have died from the virus this year compared to the two fatalities that occurred in 2011, according to the website.
The Coryell County cases both had patients who suffered from the more severe version, West Nile neuroinvasive disease.
In those cases, patients often suffer from headaches, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness and paralysis, stated information from the state. About 1 in 150 people infected with West Nile virus will develop the more severe form of the disease.
Seven Bell County residents suffered from the more severe symptoms this year, while three had the more mild version — West Nile fever.
Those suffering from the mild form of the virus often experience a fever, headache, body aches, and occasionally a skin rash on the torso and swollen lymph glands.
While fewer cases are turning up, people should continue to take precautions against getting infected.
“We are still seeing confirmed cases, but at this point we are past the peak season for West Nile,” Mann said. “We are still urge the public to take the appropriate precautions.”
Mann said West Nile typically declines rapidly after the first freeze kills many mosquitoes that spread the disease.
After the season is completed, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will conduct an investigation as to why there were so many cases this year, she said.
Contact Mason W. Canales at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7474