Second North Texan Tests Positive For West Nile Virus

(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Brian New
Brian joined the CBS 11 News team in 2013 after working a...
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GRAND PRAIRIE (CBSDFW.COM)  - A second North Texas person in as many days has tested positive for the West Nile Virus.

The first was in Richardson.  On Wednesday health officials confirmed a human case in Grand Prairie.

The patient in Grand Prairie was diagnosed with West Nile neuroinvasive disease – the most severe disease caused by the virus.

Dr. Jeffrey Kahn, Chief of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at UT Southwestern Medical Center, said only one in 150 cases of the West Nile Virus result in the neuroinvasive disease, while 80-percent of people with West Nile Virus show no symptoms at all.

Kahn said why people respond to the virus differently remains unclear

“We have no idea why such a small percentage of individuals get the worst form of the disease,” he said. “This is one of the fundamental unanswered questions about West Nile.”

Kahn said the majority of neuroinvasive cases have been in older adults but he said he’s also had cases in young healthy children.

Knowing who is most susceptible to the severe symptoms of the West Nile Virus will go a long ways in knowing how best to protect the public.

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