Rockwall County urges precautions to reduce West Nile exposure

A joint message from Rockwall County, City of Rockwall, City of Heath, City of McLendon-Chisholm, City of Fate, and City of Royse City.

August 1, 2012 – Rockwall County is urging residents to take precautions to reduce the risk of contracting West Nile virus, a mosquito borne illness. Residents should use insect repellent when outdoors and avoid going outside at dusk and dawn. There has been a higher than usual number of human West Nile cases in Texas this year due to the warm winter and recent rains, particularly in the North Texas region.

Humans can contract West Nile virus from a mosquito bite. Infected mosquitoes get the virus from feeding on infected birds and mammals. The virus can cause serious illness or death. West Nile symptoms include fever, headache, muscle and bone aches, nausea and drowsiness.

Individuals with the milder form of illness typically recover on their own, although symptoms may last for several weeks. Up to 80 percent of people infected with West Nile virus will have no symptoms and will recover on their own.

There are no medications to treat or vaccines to prevent West Nile virus infection. People over 50 years old, young children, and those with compromised immune systems are at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill when they become infected with the virus. If people have symptoms that cause them concern, they should contact their healthcare provider.

To reduce exposure to West Nile virus:

  • Use an approved insect repellent every time you go outside and follow the instructions on the label. Approved repellents are those that contain DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
  • Regularly drain standing water, including water that collects in empty cans, tires, buckets, clogged rain gutters and saucers under potted plants. Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water.
  • Wear long sleeves and pants at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Use air conditioning or make sure there are screens on all doors and windows to keep mosquitoes from entering the home.

For more information, visit the CDC website at

City of Rockwall:  972-771-7761

City of Heath:  972-771-6228

City of McLendon-Chisholm:  972-524-2077

City of Fate:  972-771-4601

City of Royse City:  972-636-2250

Rockwall County:  972-204-7080

This is a joint press release from Rockwall County, City of Rockwall, City of Heath, City of McLendon-Chisholm, City of Fate, City of Royse City. Submitted by Melanie Johnson, Emergency Management Clerk, Rockwall County.

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