West Nile Virus detected at Fort Sam

One confirmed case after military identifies mosq­uito-laden pools

SAN ANTONIO - One person is confirmed sick with West Nile Virus and another undergoing tests after the Army identified several mosquito-laden pools at Joint Base San Antonio – Fort Sam Houston.

JBSA Spokesperson Brent Boller said seven pools were tested for the virus, and three, which were located near the Honor Guard horse barn, tested positive.

“We have been putting down bacteria to kill the larva and also fogging the areas,” said Boller. “We're doing consistent surveys of areas around the installation to make sure we have this situation under control.”

The Centers for Disease Control considers West Nile Virus a “seasonal epidemic.” The disease is picked up by mosquitoes from infected birds. The mosquitoes then spread the virus to humans.

According to the CDC, only one in 150 people who are infected develop serious symptoms, which include:

  • muscle weakness
  • disorientation
  • coma
  • vision loss
  • and paralysis.

Twenty percent of those infected develop milder symptoms similar to the flu. Eighty percent of those infected develop no symptoms at all.

The area of Fort Sam that held the infected pools faces a neighborhood on Cunningham Avenue.

Ron Ward was walking his dog when he heard the news.

“If there's a known pathogen that's 12 feet away from me, that's going to be something I'm going to be a little concerned about,” said Ward.

To guard against contagion, the CDC suggests homeowners remove all standing water in their yards, make sure door and window screens are in good repair, and use insect repellent.

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