On Wednesday, the City of El Paso Department of Public Health announced that more mosquito pools collected in our area have tested positive for the West Nile Virus.
While no human cases of the virus have been reported in the El Paso area, officials are reminding residents that preventing mosquito bites continues to be an important public health concern.
There were 14 human cases confirmed locally last year and in 2015, there were two deaths related to a West Nile infection. In order to help prevent cases this year residents are asked to practice the following:
Six traps have returned positive results for West Nile. Areas affected include Central El Paso, the Upper Valley, and Fabens. Public Health continues to work closely with the Environmental Services Department’s Vector Control Program to determine the prevalence of the virus in our region.
“We are heading into the rainy season here locally, and that means more opportunities for mosquito breeding,” said Department of Public Health Lead Epidemiologist Fernando Gonzalez. “We know that there are infected mosquitoes and as their number increases, so does the chance that they will spread the disease to someone in our population.”
- DEET – Use insect repellents that contain DEET when outdoors.
- DRESS – Wear long sleeves, long pants, and socks when outdoors.
- DUSK and DAWN – Although mosquitoes associated with other diseases such as Zika can be active throughout the day, residents should take extra care during peak mosquito biting hours (from dusk to dawn) or consider avoiding outdoor activities during these times.
- DRAIN – Drain standing water from flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, and birdbaths.