An El Paso man in his late 40s has become the fifth confirmed person in El Paso to be diagnosed with West Nile Virus in El Paso this year.
The man lives in West El Paso and does not have a history of recent travel. The patient does have underlying medical conditions, but is recovering at home.
“It is not too late to start taking West Nile Virus and other mosquito-borne diseases seriously,” said Lead Epidemiologist Fernando Gonzalez. “We ask all residents to do their part to remove standing rainwater and other stagnant water around their home and encourage them to check with neighbors, especially the elderly who may need assistance to remove items that are soaked.”
The most effective way to avoid West Nile virus disease and other mosquito-borne illnesses, is to prevent mosquito bites. Defend yourself by using the 4 D’s:
- DEET – Use insect repellents when you go outdoors.
- DRESS – When weather permits, wear long sleeves, long pants, and socks when outdoors.
- DUSK and DAWN – Although mosquitoes associated with 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 – Help reduce the number of mosquitoes around and outside your home by emptying standing water from flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, discarded tires, and birdbaths on a regular basis.
Residents can also mosquito-proof their home by installing or repairing screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out. To report standing water or mosquito breeding, call 3-1-1.
In effort to increase awareness about the disease and ways the public can protect themselves, the Department has added a West Nile Virus session to the list of presentations offered by the Speakers Bureau. Local civic and community organizations can schedule a presentation that will include background on the disease, prevention methods, as well as what people can look out for in regards to signs and symptoms of infection.
Presentations can be scheduled by visiting the website and clicking on “Special Projects.”