Should players be worried about West Nile Virus in Texas?
There has been worldwide reporting of the fact that the city of Dallas, Texas has declared a state of emergency, due to an outbreak of the potentially deadly West Nile Virus. Aerial Spraying is taking place in order to limit the effects of the problem.
The move comes ahead of next week’s WTA tournament, that will take place in Grapevine (around 30 km from Dallas). One player has publicly questioned whether it is safe to travel to the area, with Galina Voskoboeva asking on Twitter:
“My next tournament is Dallas. Do you know is it safe to go there now?”
It is understood that other players and members of the WTA fraternity have expressed their concerns over the situation privately. The worries are understandable, as in severe cases symptoms can include convulsions, tremors, muscle weakness and even paralysis.
Around 1 in 150 people who contract West Nile Virus go on to develop the more serious form of the illness, and those most at risk are people over 50 with major underlying health issues.
West Nile Virus outbreaks are not unprecedented in America, nor is it a problem that is exclusive to Texas. The BBC are reporting that spraying is currently ongoing in New York City and Sacramento, California to try and control the spread of the virus.
The virus was unintentionally introduced to the US in 1999; the source thought to be a bird smuggled into the country from Israel.