The Texas Department of State and Human Services has confirmed 18 human cases of West Nile illness in Texas so far for 2013.
West Nile is a mosquito-borne virus that can cause two forms of the illness, West Nile neuroinvasive disease (WNND) and West Nile fever (WN fever). West Nile neuroinvasive disease (WNND) symptoms include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness and paralysis. West Nile fever is the milder form of the illness that features symptoms like, headache, body aches, an occasional skin rash on the trunk of the body and swollen lymph glands.
DSHS reminds Texans to reduce the risk of exposure by eliminating standing water and other mosquito breeding areas; making sure door, porch and window screens are in good condition; and using a repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535 when outdoors.
Last year, Texans reported 1868 cases of West Nile fever across the state.