The City of El Paso Department of Public Health announced today that the West Nile virus has been confirmed in five more people in El Paso this season.
The most recent confirmed cases involve residents who live in the downtown, central, and northeast part of the city. The number of West Nile virus-related deaths in El Paso this year remains at two.
“In the past we have seen confirmed cases of the disease well into the winter months,” said Fernando Gonzalez, Lead Epidemiologist. “We need to make sure that residents continue to avoid mosquitoes throughout the fall and winter months.”
Avoiding mosquitos which may carry the disease is the main message of the “Four D’s”. These easy to remember tips could help prevent more cases of West Nile virus in El Paso.
- DEET – Use insect repellents when you go outdoors. Repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol products provide longer-lasting protection. To optimize safety and effectiveness, repellents should be used according to the label instructions.
- DRESS – When weather permits, wear long sleeves, long pants, and socks when outdoors. Mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing, so spraying clothes with repellent containing permethrin or another EPA-registered repellent will give extra protection. Don’t apply repellents containing permethrin directly to skin. Rather, spray permethrin-containing products only on clothing.
- DUSK and DAWN – Take extra care during peak mosquito biting hours. Take extra care to use repellent and protective clothing 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.
You can also mosquito-proof your home by installing or repairing screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out. The City’s Vector Control Program is also continuing its proactive fogging and treatment of areas of concern.
They actively monitor reservoirs, drains, inactive pools, and investigate citizen’s complaints of potential mosquito infestations. Residents may call 311 to report any standing water or areas of concern.
The following is a list of cases confirmed in El Paso so far this season.
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 www.EPHealth.com and clicking on “Special Projects.”
The efforts and services offered by the Department of Public Health support the City of El Paso’s strategic goal to nurture and promote a healthy, sustainable community. For more information on the programs and services offered by the Department, please visit www.EPHealth.com or dial 2-1-1.
Author: City of El Paso