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Fourth West Nile Virus Case Confirmed in El Paso

An elderly man in his 70s has become the fourth confirmed person in El Paso to be diagnosed with West Nile Virus in El Paso this year.

According to El Paso Department of Public Health officials, the man lives in Central El Paso and does not have a history of recent travel.

The patient does have underlying medical conditions, but is recovering at home.

“City officials are testing mosquitoes from all parts of town, and a great many of them are coming back positive for West Nile Virus,” said Fernando Gonzalez, Lead Epidemiologist. “Every time it rains we need to remember about draining standing water outside our homes in order to prevent this deadly disease.”

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. 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 – 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.

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