The City of El Paso Department of Public Health has confirmed a second case of West Nile Virus in El Paso. The patient is a man in his early 50’s who lives in the city’s Eastside. He does not have any underlying medical conditions and is currently recovering at home.
The first case of West Nile Virus confirmed this season was in May involving a man in his mid-40’s who also resides in East El Paso. A total of six West Nile Virus cases were reported last season.
“With West Nile Virus, and now Zika presenting a threat to our community we need everyone to do their part including draining standing water around their homes,” said Fernando Gonzalez, Lead Epidemiologist.
Department officials are urging residents to “Tip and Toss” items in their yards to prevent standing water. It takes less than a tablespoon of water to provide a breeding ground for moquitoes. Residents are also reminded to practice the “four Ds”:
- 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.
You can also mosquito-proof your 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 www.EPHealth.com and clicking on “Special Projects.”
The mission of the City of El Paso Department of Public Health is to Provide Public Health related research, evaluation, education, prevention, intervention, and preparedness services. For more information on the programs and services we provide, please dial 2-1-1 or visitwww.EPHealth.com or www.EPSalud.com.