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Thursday , November 15 2018
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Tag Archives: west nile virus

Fifth Case of West Nile Found, Elderly Mission Valley Man Recovering

The number of confirmed West Nile Virus cases in El Paso continues to rise. Officials with the Department of Public Health announced Thursday that a fifth case of West Nile Virus involves a man in his 70’s who lives in the Mission Valley. He has underlying medical conditions, but is recovering from the infection.

“We continue to recommend that residents practice mosquito bite prevention as a way to prevent this and other vector borne diseases,” said Fernando Gonzalez, Lead Epidemiologist. “They can call 3-1-1 to report large areas of standing water that may be breeding mosquitoes and the Environmental Services Department will investigate and remedy the situation.”

There were 14 human cases of West Nile confirmed in El Paso last year and the most recent deaths associated with the disease were two deaths in 2015.

The following precautions can be used to help prevent the virus.

  • DEET – Use insect repellents that contain DEET when outdoors.
  • DRESS – Wear long sleeves, long pants, and socks when outdoors.
  • DUSK and DAWN – Although mosquitoes associated with other diseases such asZika 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 – Drain standing water from flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, and birdbaths.

The following are the cases confirmed in El Paso so far this season:

  1. Male 20’s No Underlying Medical Conditions
  2. Male 70’s Underlying Medical Conditions
  3. Female 60’s Underlying Medical Conditions
  4. Male Teen No Underlying Medical Conditions
NEW 5. Male 70’s Underlying Medical Conditions

For more information on the Public Health Department, call 2-1-1 or visit www.EPHealth.com or www.EPSalud.com.

City: More Mosquitoes Test Positive for West Nile

On Wednesday, the City of El Paso Department of Public Health announced that more mosquito pools collected in our area have tested positive for the West Nile Virus.

While no human cases of the virus have been reported in the El Paso area, officials are reminding residents that preventing mosquito bites continues to be an important public health concern.

There were 14 human cases confirmed locally last year and in 2015, there were two deaths related to a West Nile infection. In order to help prevent cases this year residents are asked to practice the following:

Six traps have returned positive results for West Nile. Areas affected include Central El Paso, the Upper Valley, and Fabens. Public Health continues to work closely with the Environmental Services Department’s Vector Control Program to determine the prevalence of the virus in our region.

“We are heading into the rainy season here locally, and that means more opportunities for mosquito breeding,” said Department of Public Health Lead Epidemiologist Fernando Gonzalez. “We know that there are infected mosquitoes and as their number increases, so does the chance that they will spread the disease to someone in our population.”

  • DEET – Use insect repellents that contain DEET when outdoors.
  • DRESS – Wear long sleeves, long pants, and socks when outdoors.
  • DUSK and DAWN – Although mosquitoes associated with other diseases such as 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 – Drain standing water from flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, and birdbaths.

For more information on the Public Health Department, call 2-1-1 or visit www.EPHealth.com or www.EPSalud.com

El Paso DPH Observes National Mosquito Control Awareness Week

In observance of National Mosquito Control Awareness Week, the Public Health and Environmental Services Departments are teaming up with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to prevent mosquito bites, and mosquito-borne diseases such as West Nile Virus, Chikungunya, Dengue, and Zika.

Mayor Dee Margo and City Council will proclaim Wednesday, June 27, 2018 “Zika Action Day” at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

In addition, health educators from the DPH will be visiting with parents and children in the Socorro area to teach the importance of preventing these diseases. Zika virus spreads through the bite of an infected mosquito, sexual intercourse, blood transfusion, and from a mother to her fetus. As a part of these presentations, the DPH will be providing women of childbearing age a kit, which includes repellent, condoms, and educational materials.

Residents can take part by following the Public Health Department on Facebook and Twitter to help spread the word. Sharing our daily posts could help save a life.

Mosquito Control Awareness Week began June 24 and runs through June 30, 2018. For more information on the Public Health Department, call 2-1-1 or visit their English-language webpage or the Spanish-language page.

The El Paso Department of Public Health is asking residents to help ‘fight the bite’ by reducing the spread of mosquito borne diseases using these prevention methods:

  • DEET – Use insect repellents that contain DEET when outdoors
  • DRESS – 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 – Drain standing water from flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, and birdbaths.

Disease Prevention Encouraged During Mosquito Control Awareness Week

With the summer season upon us, and the monsoon season on its way, mosquitoes are more prevalent. The Department of Public Health is joining other agencies and organizations across the country reminding residents that mosquitoes can spread various diseases.

“We have a disease like West Nile Virus that is now commonplace in our region and we have seen a great amount of people get sick and even die from this disease over the years,” said Robert Resendes, Public Health Director. “We don’t need to wait for a novel virus like Zika to know that mosquitoes might be small creatures, but the diseases they carry can be major.”

During the week of June 25 through July 1 the Department will be using social media to drive home the importance of preventing mosquito breeding and using personal protection to prevent getting bitten.

Residents can like or follow EP Public Health on Facebook or Twitter for regular reminders on mosquito prevention.

While the Zika Virus continues to generate interest across the country and around the world, no Zika-carrying mosquitoes have been found in our area. Since there are other diseases transmitted by mosquitoes, local officials want to make sure mosquito prevention methods are being practiced to reduce the prevalence of any mosquito-borne disease.

Last season a total of three imported cases of Zika were reported in El Paso, and there were six confirmed cases of West Nile Virus recorded. Other diseases like Chikungunya and Dengue are also emerging with their spread from South and Central America into the United States.

Residents are asked to practice “The 3 D’s”:

  • Drain: Empty out water containers at least once per week
  • Dress: Wear long sleeves, long pants, and light-colored, loose-fitting clothing
  • Defend: Properly apply an approved repellent such as DEET, picaridin, IR3535 or oil of lemon-eucalyptus

In addition, the Environmental Services Vector Control Program continues its efforts to decrease the mosquito population by trapping mosquitos and fogging areas where a large presence is found. Vector Control treats all areas around the city where breeding can occur such as canals and reservoirs.

For more information on the programs and services provided, please dial 2-1-1 or visit www.EPHealth.com or www.EPSalud.com

Three more cases of West Nile Virus confirmed in El Paso

The Department of Public Health has confirmed that three more people have contracted the West Nile virus in El Paso this year. The most recent confirmed cases involve an elderly man and woman who both live in the central part of the city as well as an elderly man from the Mission Valley.

The number of West Nile virus-related deaths in El Paso this year remains at two.  Health officials make this announcement along with a reminder that this weekend’s warm and rainy weather is likely to create breeding conditions for mosquitoes.

Residents can mosquito-proof homes 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 3-1-1 to report any standing water or areas of concern.

They fear more mosquitoes, which spread the disease, could increase the current number of cases of West Nile virus in our area.

The following is a list of cases confirmed in El Paso so far this season.

1 Male Elderly 79905
2 Male Elderly 79927
3 Male Young Adult 79904
4 Female Elderly 79927 Deceased
5 Male Elderly 79836
6 Male Middle Age 79927
7 Male Middle Age 79835
8 Male Elderly 79907 Deceased
9 Male Elderly Undetermined
10 Male Elderly 79925
11 Female Elderly 79930
12 Male Elderly 79915

The best way to avoid exposure to mosquito-borne diseases is 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– 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.

Education

In effort to increase awareness about the disease and ways the public can protect themselves, the Department of Public Health 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: El Paso Department of Public Health