Posted on August 1, 2012 at 7:07 PM
Wednesday, Aug 1 at 8:27 PM
Five people have died of the West Nile virus in North Texas. Now there are reports of a victim in Austin.
As West Nile makes a resurgence, San Antonio Metro Health officials are taking notice.
"It triggers our medical surveillance system. And so we are tracking cases of West Nile Virus," says Dr. Vincent Nathan of San Antonio Metro Health.
But Nathan says it's no time to hit the panic button.
"Typically 80 percent of people that are exposed to West Nile virus - means being bit by a mosquito - show no symptoms of West Nile virus whatsoever," he added.
The symptoms didn't show themselves immediately - or at all in some cases.
According to Nathan, the human body can actually fend off the virus if you lead a healthy lifestyle.
Additionally, one thing that is working in South Texas' favor in fending off the virus is the summer heat.
"We are in the middle of a century old drought so we don't anticipate a bumper crop of mosquitoes by any means," adds Nathan.
However, the proximity of the cases in Dallas and near Austin have the Metro Health Department watchful should any be reported in or near Bexar County.
The best way to fend off mosquitoes - the main carrier of the virus to humans - is to wear long sleeves if out for a long period of time. Naturally that may be difficult in August in South Texas.
Bug spray works well, though.