A McLennan County resident is dead after contracting West Nile Virus.
McLennan County health officials say an 80-year-old victim is dead and at least five cases of the West Nile Virus have been confirmed in the county. Officials believe there are three additional cases, including one outside of the county.
The mosquito-borne West Nile Virus first appeared in the U.S. in 1999 and quickly spread across the country.
In the Dallas area, 26 cases of West Nile have been documented. Of those, 14 were the severe type, and two people died.
In Austin, one person is hospitalized with a severe case of West Nile infection.
"This is the most severe activity that we've seen since 2005," Kelly Kraine with the Waco McLennan County Public Health District said.
For most people, a case of West Nile Virus would be no worse than a flu, but for some individuals, West Nile will develop into a life-threatening illness.
"You may not have any symptoms or you may have mild cold symptoms. You may not have anything that would prompt you to go to the doctor," Kraine said.
To protect yourself and your family, remember the "D"s -- drain all standing water, use Deet-based repellents when outdoors, dress to cover exposed skin and avoid dusk and dawn, which is mosquitoes’ active feeding time.
Click here for more information on the virus.