The first confirmed case of West Nile Virus this year has been reported in Travis County, 1200 WOAI news reports.

  West Nile, which is spread by mosquitoes, is a painful and deadly disease which has been active in Texas ever since it was first seen in the USA in 1999.  In 2013, there were 183 confirmed cases of West Nile Virus in Texas, and 14 people died.

  The Texas Department of State Health Services says it will not comment on the age or gender of the patient for privacy reasons.

  "The best way to protect yourself is by using insect repellant every time you go outside," said Tom Sidwa, State Public Health Veterinarian.  "West Nile virus can make people very sick, with symptoms that can last for weeks and months.

  Officials also urge people to drain any stagnant sources of water, like air conditioning drains, because mosquitoes breed in places like that.  Swimming pools are okay because the chlorine in the pools prevents mosquito breeding.

  The intensity of West Nile activity in Texas fluctuates from year to year and is difficult to predict.  It depends on a variety of factors, including the weather, the number of birds and mosquitoes that maintain and spread the virus, and human behavior.