The Woodlands sees first West Nile virus-related death in Montgomery County in 2020

The West Nile virus is most commonly spread by infected mosquitoes. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

The West Nile virus is most commonly spread by infected mosquitoes. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)

A resident from The Woodlands who had been infected with the West Nile virus has died, according to an Oct. 30 news release from the Montgomery County Hospital District. It is the first death related to the virus this year in Montgomery County as well as the first human case reported in the county this year, according to the release.

MCHD reported that the man—who lived in ZIP code 77381 in the eastern portion of The Woodlands—was in his 70s and had other medical conditions. His death was classified as a probable West Nile virus case, according to MCHD.

In addition, a second probable case of the virus in the county was found in a woman in her 60s from The Woodlands. The woman lives in ZIP code 77382, which is in the western portion of The Woodlands, according to MCHD.

The West Nile virus is most commonly spread by infected mosquitoes, with people developing symptoms three to 14 days after being bitten, according to MCHD. While most people will develop no symptoms, about one in five people will develop milder symptoms, such as fever, headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or a rash, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The cases come after Montgomery County officials reported that they have found a growing number of mosquito samples testing positive for the West Nile virus. Community Impact Newspaper previously reported that Montgomery County recorded 50 positive samples of the virus as of Aug. 10, as opposed to two samples at the same time last year.

In addition, Montgomery County officials launched a mosquito abatement team to spray zones throughout the county where disease activity is present. County officials said the mosquitoes that transmit the virus are most active from dusk until dawn.

The CDC recommends taking measures to avoid contracting the virus, including using insect repellents, wearing protective clothing and draining areas with standing water.
By Kelly Schafler

Editor, Lake Houston | Humble | Kingwood

Kelly Schafler is the editor for the Lake Houston, Humble and Kingwood edition of Community Impact Newspaper, covering public education, city government, development, businesses, local events and all things community-related. Before she became editor, she was the reporter for the Conroe and Montgomery edition for a year and a half.


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