West Nile Virus

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, West Nile virus (WNV) is most commonly transmitted to humans by mosquitoes and there are no medications to treat or vaccines to prevent WNV infection.

West Nile virus is an arthropod-borne virus (arbovirus) most commonly spread by infected mosquitoes. West Nile virus can cause febrile illness, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord).

West Nile virus was first detected in North America in 1999, and has since spread across the continental United States including Texas. Most cases of West Nile Virus occur between June and September, and frequency occurs when mosquito activity is higher. 

  • October and November are the two months with the highest number of reported West Nile Virus (WNV) reported cases in Texas.
  • The Texas Department of State Health Services has conducted surveillance for WNV since its arrival in Texas in 2002.
  • The first big surge in the number of human cases of WNV disease occurred in 2003 with nearly 750 cases reported. In the years to follow, reported cases of human WNV disease decreased but remained stable. In 2011, Texas reported the lowest number of human WNV disease cases and in 2012 a record high number of cases was reported.
  • Wet conditions and cooler temperatures likely indicate an increase in the number of WNV cases.
  • Be safe and protect your family and pets

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