One case of St. Louis Encephalitis Virus confirmed in mosquito sample

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LUBBOCK, Texas — The City of Lubbock Health Department confirmed a case of the St. Louis Encephalitis Virus (SLE) from mosquito virus screening sample collected in Lubbock.

The following is a press release from The City of Lubbock Health Department:

The City of Lubbock Health Department has confirmed St. Louis Encephalitis Virus (SLE) from a mosquito virus screening sample collected in Lubbock. While West Nile Virus has previously been reported this is the first report of SLE in 2019.

Saint Louis Encephalitis (SLE) is a viral disease spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. Humans are exposed to the virus when they are bitten by mosquitoes that have fed on infected birds. SLE cannot be spread person-to-person.

Most people infected with SLE virus have no apparent illness. Initial symptoms of those who become ill include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, and tiredness. Severe neuroinvasive disease (often involving encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain) occurs more commonly in older adults. In rare cases, long-term disability or death can result. There are no vaccines to prevent nor medications to treat SLE. Care is based on symptoms.

No vaccine against SLE infection or specific antiviral treatment for clinical SLE infections is available. Patients with suspected SLE should be evaluated by a healthcare provider, appropriate serologic and other diagnostic tests ordered, and supportive treatment provided.

While we are near the end of mosquito season it is important for individuals to continue to take steps to avoid mosquito bites.  These include:

  • Wearing an EPA registered insect repellant
  • Covering up with long-sleeved shirts and long pants
  • Keeping mosquitoes out of living areas by using air conditioning or intact window screens
  • Limiting outdoor activities during peak mosquito times
  • Dumping standing water around your home

For more information on St. Louis Encephalitis Virus visit the Centers for Disease Control andPrevention (CDC) website at:

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