The City of Lubbock Health Department has confirmed the first case of West Nile Virus for 2013.

West Nile Virus is a disease carried by birds. Humans and horses can be infected with the disease by being bitten by mosquitoes that have fed on the infected birds.West Nile Virus cannot, however, be spread directly from person to person, or directly from an infected bird or horse.

Symptoms of West Nile Virus can develop within 3 to 14 days of being bitten, and can range from mild to severe. Symptoms usually start with a fever and can include weakness, loss of appetite, nausea, vomitting, eye pain, headache, muscles aches, rash and swollen glands. The elderly and those with a weakened immune system are at a higher risk of developing sever West Nile symptoms.

The Lubbock Health Department is reminding people to avoid being out when mosquitoes are feed, usually at dawn and dusk, and to wear protective clothing and use repellant if they are outdoors.The Health Department also recommends getting rid of any old standing water, such as bird baths and pet dishes.

If you suspect you or a family member has been infected with West Nile Virus, consult your physician as soon as possible.