The City of El Paso announced today that the first case of West Nile Virus in El Paso this season has been confirmed. The patient is a man in his late 70’s who lives in the central part of town.
The news comes as the Department of Public Health begins its efforts to prevent mosquito-borne diseases like West Nile and the newly emerging Zika virus.
“There are two different mosquito species that carry these two diseases and others,” said Fernando Gonzalez, Lead Epidemiologist. “Both of the mosquito types are known to be present in our city but behave differently in that the mosquito that carries Zika is active both indoors and outdoors and is active at all times of the day and night,” he said.
Because of the threat of Zika virus as well as West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne diseases, the Department continues to recommend mosquito bite prevention tips as provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which are different than prevention tips previously promoted. The new tips are as follows:
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants
- Drain standing water both inside and outside your home
- Stay in cool places with air conditioning and window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside
- Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents with one of the following active ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or para-menthane-diol
(Do not use insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months old)
- More information is available at www.EPHealth.com under the Zika Virus page
To report standing water or other mosquito breeding sites, call the Environmental Services Department Vector Control Program at 3-1-1.
The mission of the Department of Public Health is to provide research and evaluation, prevention, intervention, and mobilization services to the people of El Paso so they can be healthy, productive, safe, and secure.
For more information on the programs and services offered by the Department of Public Health, visit EPHealth.com or dial 2-1-1