Mosquito

Lucas Blanton/University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

From Texas Standard:

For some Texans, a mosquito bite can cause more than just an itch. From yellow fever to West Nile virus, there's a long history of mosquito-borne diseases in Texas, some of them causing serious harm or even death.

Margaret Nicklas/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

In part 2 of our series on the impact of West Nile, we look at reducing the risk of the virus.

Eighty percent of people infected with West Nile virus never have symptoms, so that’s a big reason confirmed cases are lower than actual infection numbers. But even of those who do seek medical care with serious symptoms, less than 40 percent of adults and only a quarter of children are ever tested for West Nile.

That’s according to research done by a team including Dr. Kristy Murray. She studies insect-borne diseases at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. She says many doctors choose not to test for West Nile because it has no specific treatment or cure. But Murray says forgoing a diagnosis may put others at risk.

Chuck Yarling

From Texas Standard:

West Nile virus made big headlines in Texas in 2012. But the truth is, it probably infects thousands of people here each year, even though the actual number of confirmed cases tends to be quite low. That’s because an estimated 80 percent of those infected don’t have any symptoms and never see a doctor. Others will become sick with flu-like symptoms and recover. But for a small number of people each year, West Nile causes permanent disability, paralysis and death.

In 2012, 68-year-old Chuck Yarling was an avid runner, biker and swimmer who’d competed in more than 100 triathlons. In fact, he’d competed in one just weeks before he fainted in his apartment on an August afternoon. He awoke days later in a rehabilitation hospital a different man.

Vivian Abagiu / UT Austin

Scientists say they’ve invented a new tool to fight mosquito-borne illnesses. The technology could help public health officials rapidly track and fight the spread of diseases like Zika and dengue fever.

All it takes is a cellphone, a small 3D-printed plastic box and a chemical mixture, says Sanchita Bhadra, a molecular biologist at UT Austin who worked on the project.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

A Harvey evacuee at the Delco Center was getting treated for a wound on her head last week when workers discovered she was diabetic.

“The people of CVS immediately ordered the insulin," says Adryana Aldeen, who was volunteering with the Red Cross that day. "She was out of insulin.”

flickr/jamesjordan

Travis County health officials have confirmed the second case of Zika virus in the region. With peak mosquito season approaching, what should people be watching out for?


thespeakernews via flickr

Public health officials in Dallas County have confirmed the first sexually transmitted case of the Zika virus, which is said to be linked to birth defects.

The virus is typically transmitted by mosquitoes, but Dallas County Health and Human Services said Tuesday that an unidentified person had been infected by sexual transmission — the first confirmed case of a person acquiring the virus in the continental United States. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the transmission Tuesday.