Special to The Dallas Examiner
On Friday, Dallas County Health and Human Services reported the first human case of West Nile Virus infection in Dallas County this year. The patient was a resident of the 75231 ZIP code and had been diagnosed with West Nile Neuroinvasive Disease. Due to medical confidentiality and personal privacy reasons, the identity of the patient was not released.
WNV is a disease that is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes can become infected when they feed on the blood from infected birds. The infected mosquitoes can then transmit the virus to humans and animals. Severe infections can cause neurologic complications such as encephalitis.
Milder symptoms include fever, headache and muscle aches. There is no vaccine or specific treatment for WNV.
“The confirmation of the first human case of the West Nile Virus here in Dallas County this year is yet another reminder of the importance of the public health in our community – in particular, the need to take steps to avoid mosquito bites and to reduce mosquito populations,” said Dr. Philip Huang, director of DCHHS. “The best way to avoid exposure to mosquito-borne diseases is to avoid mosquito bites by practicing the four Ds.”
The four Ds are as follows:
- DEET: All Day, Every Day: Whenever you’re outside, use insect repellents that contain DEET or other EPA approved repellents and follow instructions.
- Dress: Wear long, loose and light-colored clothing when outdoors.
- Drain: Drain or treat all standing water in and around your home or workplace where mosquitoes could lay eggs.
- Dawn and Dusk: limit your time outdoors during these times when mosquitos are most active.
This summer, mosquito sample have tested positive for WNV in the cities of Cedar Hill, Dallas, Highland Park, Mesquite and University Park.
For more information, visit https://www.dallascounty.org/departments/dchhs/westnile.php