Department of State Health Services
August 30 , 2004
A case of West Nile Fever has been confirmed in a Randall County resident and Neuro-invasive West Nile syndrome has been confirmed in residents of Childress and Hale Counties. In addition West Nile virus (WNV) has been found in mosquitoes collected in Hale, Randal and Lubbock Counties. Last year, 14 cases of St. Louis Encephalitis (SLE) virus infection were confirmed in PHR 1. This year there has been one case confirmed which indicates the virus is active in the Region's mosquito population. In addition, Western Equine Encephalitis (WEE) was found in two pools of mosquitoes in Randall County. A patient from Swisher County, exhibiting neurological symptoms, has been classified as a "flavivirus" infection at present indicating that either WNV or SLE infection is involved.
All three of these viruses may cause encephalitis or meningitis in humans. In addition, WNV may produce the milder "fever" syndrome in infected humans. Please consider these viruses when evaluating patients that exhibit encephalitis, meningitis or the milder symptoms associated with the WNV fever syndrome. While DSHS is able to provide serological testing for WNV and SLE, a lack of WEE antigen precludes testing for that virus. In all likelihood, a case of WEE will ultimately be classified as aseptic meningitis.
Please continue to remind your clients that the risk of becoming infected with any of these three viruses may be reduced if they will practice personal protection as defined in the 4 Ds.
If you have comments or suggestions please contact us.