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Tuesday , June 19 2018
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Tag Archives: west nile

Department of Health: Zika Prevention Season Begins Now

With the arrival of spring and the increase of people and businesses watering, the Public Health Department reminds everyone to be mindful of mosquitoes.

“We have lived with West Nile virus making the rounds in El Paso for many years,” said Public Health Director Robert Resendes. “Now we’re also trying to prevent locally-acquired cases of the Zika virus which can lead to severe birth defects and even lead to still births. That is why pregnant women are encouraged to avoid all mosquito bites and to inform their healthcare provider if they have any of the symptoms associated with Zika such as fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes).”

As temperatures start to climb, the department urges residents to prevent mosquito breeding, mosquito bites and mosquito-borne diseases that can have a devastating impact on the community.

While El Paso has not had any cases of Zika virus, there have been three imported cases of Zika going back to 2016. Although the mosquitoes that are associated with Zika are different from those that transmit West Nile virus, both types of mosquitoes exist in El Paso County.

Fortunately, many of the mosquito prevention measures are the same for all mosquitoes.

  • 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.

Residents can also mosquito-proof their home by repairing screens on windows and doors in order to keep out mosquitoes. If you know of an area where ponding and/or mosquito breeding is taking place, you can call vector control by dialing 3-1-1.

For mosquito bite prevention tips, follow the department on Facebook and Twitter or visit the City of El Paso YouTube channel for a story on Zika season in the latest Your City in 5 segment.

For more information on the Public Health Department call 2-1-1.

Two New West Nile Virus Cases Brings Total to 13

Two new confirmed cases of West Nile Virus in two El Paso men brings the total number of cases in El Paso to 13 so far this season.

The new cases involve a man in his 70’s who lives in the Mission Valley and a man in his early 60’s who lives on the city’s eastside. Both have reported underlying medical conditions.

Health officials credit local health care providers for properly identifying cases and following through with reporting this notifiable disease.

“We invite the community to join us and take mosquito-borne disease prevention seriously,” said Fernando Gonzalez, Lead Epidemiologist. “This weekend’s Zika Action Day event will provide an opportunity for families and individuals to learn and gain a better understanding of what they can do to help prevent diseases like West Nile Virus and Zika.”

The Zika Action Day will take place on Saturday, September 23, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon at Memorial Park located at the corner of Luna Street and Wheeling Avenue.

The following is a compilation of cases identified by Department of Public Health Epidemiology Division so far this year:

Case Gender Age Residence  
13 Male Early 60’s Eastside New
12 Male Early 70’s Mission Valley New
11 Male Mid 20’s Central
10 Male Late 50’s Mission Valley
9 Male Late 70’s Westside
8 Female Late 60’s Central
7 Female Early 70’s East Colonia
6 Male Mid 70’s Socorro
5 Male Late 40’s Westside
4 Male Mid 70’s Central
3 Male Mid 40’s Mission Valley
2 Male Early 50’s Eastside
1 Male Mid 40’s Eastside

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.

West Nile Virus Cases Double Last Week

A total of six new cases of West Nile Virus confirmed over the past week has brought the total number of cases in El Paso to 11 so far this season.

“We need to remember that it takes about a teaspoon of water to create breeding conditions for mosquitoes that carry the West Nile Virus,” said Lead Epidemiologist Fernando Gonzalez.

“As soon as we see rain, we need to start thinking about getting outside our homes and getting rid of it,” Gonzalez added

The news comes as the Sun City continues to experience seasonal rains with more expected in the coming days.

To report standing water or mosquito breeding, call 3-1-1.

The following is a compilation of cases identified by Department of Public Health epidemiologist:

Case Gender Age Residence  
11 Male Mid 20’s Central New
10 Male Late 50’s Mission Valley New
9 Male Late 70’s Westside New
8 Female Late 60’s Central New
7 Female Early 70’s East Colonia New
6 Male Mid 70’s Socorro New
5 Male Late 40’s Westside
4 Male Mid 70’s Central
3 Male Mid 40’s Mission Valley
2 Male Early 50’s Eastside
1 Male Mid 40’s Eastside

The most effective way to avoid mosquito-borne illnesses, is to prevent mosquito bites and use the 4 D’s:

  • 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.

Residents can also mosquito-proof their home by repairing screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.  For more information on mosquitoes, visit www.EPHealth.com or www.EPSalud.com.

Fifth West Nile Virus Case Confirmed in El Paso

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.”

For more information on the programs and services provided by the Department of Public Health, call 2-1-1 or visit www.EPHealth.com or www.EPSalud.com.

 

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.

Second Case of West Nile Confirmed this Season

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.

First Case of West Nile Virus Confirmed For The Season

EL PASO, Texas – The City of El Paso Department of Public Health announced today that the first West Nile Virus case of the season has been confirmed.

The patient is a man in his mid-40’s who had no reported travel outside of El Paso. The man lives in the East El Paso area and has underlying medical conditions. A total of six West Nile Virus cases were reported last season with the most recent case confirmed in the middle of January.

The City of El Paso Environmental Services Department continues its fogging efforts in order to control adult mosquitoes and will continue treating affected areas as the season continues.

“We want to remind residents that mosquitoes are not just a nuisance but are carriers for some serious diseases,” said Fernando Gonzalez, Lead Epidemiologist. “We need to be doing everything we can on a personal level to prevent mosquito bites and related disease such as West Nile, Zika, and Chikungunya.”

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 – 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, please call 3-1-1.

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.”

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

West Nile Case Reported in El Paso Despite Cold Weather

The City of El Paso Department of Public Health announced today that a sixth person has been diagnosed with West Nile virus in the borderland.

The patient is a man in his 50’s who lives in the western portion of El Paso and is recovering.

“This is not the first time we see West Nile infections during the colder time of the year, but the case is rather unusual,” said Fernando Gonzalez, Lead Epidemiologist. “It’s important that we don’t assume mosquito activity ends when the weather gets cold. We know they are out there and we know that some of them are infected, and can spread the virus.”

This latest case has been added to the running list being compiled by the DPH (as shown below.)

Case Sex Age Area of Residence
1 Male 70s Central El Paso
2 Male 20s Central El Paso
3 Male 40s San Elizario
4 Male 30s Lower Valley
5 Female 70s Upper Valley
6 Male 50s Westside

The Department of Public Health continues to recommend mosquito bite prevention tips. To report standing water or other mosquito breeding sites, call 3-1-1. Please be sure to provide address or street names with cross streets when calling.

Fifth West Nile Case Reported in El Paso

The City of El Paso Department of Public Health announced today that a fifth person has been diagnosed with West Nile virus in the borderland. The patient is a woman in her 70’s who lives in the Upper Valley and is recovering.

“As we predicted, the recent rains have created conditions for mosquitoes to thrive in our region. We have identified six mosquito pools in various areas of El Paso that have tested positive for West Nile” said Fernando Gonzalez, Lead Epidemiologist. “We continue to stress the importance of removing standing water in and around the home, and wearing insect repellent as means of protecting ourselves and our families.”

“As you can see from the list, West Nile and other mosquito borne diseases such as Zika, can affect anyone of any age,” said Robert Resendes, Public Health Director. “You’re never too young or too old to protect yourself from mosquitoes and the illnesses they may carry.”

This latest case has been added to the running list being compiled by the DPH (as shown below.) It should also be noted that there were 12 cases reported at this time last year.

Case Sex Age Area of Residence
1 Male 70s Central El Paso
2 Male 20s Central El Paso
3 Male 40s San Elizario
4 Male 30s Lower Valley
5 Female 70s Upper Valley

The Department of Public Health continues to recommend other mosquito bite prevention tips including:

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants
  • Drain standing water both inside and outside your home – Tip and Toss!
  • Stay in cool places with air conditioning and window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside
  • Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents with one of the following active ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or para-menthane-diol (Do not use insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months old)
  • More information is available at www.EPHealth.com under the Zika Virus page

To report standing water or other mosquito breeding sites, call 3-1-1. Please be sure to provide address or street names with cross streets when calling.

The public is also reminded that the Department of Public Health’s Speakers Bureau is also offering presentations to community groups that focus on mosquito-borne disease prevention. This includes both Zika and West Nile. For more information or to schedule a presentation, please click HERE.

Fourth West Nile Case Reported in El Paso Area

A fourth case of West Nile virus has been reported to the City of El Paso Department of Public Health. The patient is a man in his 30’s who lives in the Lower Valley.

“With both West Nile and Zika viruses posing a threat to our community’s health, we want to make sure that residents practice the ‘Tip and Toss’ efforts we have been promoting for several months,” said Robert Resendes, Public Health Director. “With funding for Zika prevention at a standstill, it’s all the more important that we take personal initiative to halt the spread of mosquito-borne diseases and protect ourselves and families from mosquito bites.”

The case comes as El Paso continues to see rainy weather conditions which can create breeding conditions for the mosquitoes that carry the disease.

This is why health officials continue to urge residents to take personal measures to remove standing water outside their homes.

The Department of Public Health continues to recommend other mosquito bite prevention tips including:

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants
  • Drain standing water both inside and outside your home – Tip and Toss!
  • Stay in cool places with air conditioning and window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside
  • Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents with one of the following active             ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or para-menthane-diol (Do not use insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months old)
  • More information is available at www.EPHealth.com under the Zika Virus page

To report standing water or other mosquito breeding sites, call 3-1-1. Please be sure to provide address or street names with cross streets when calling.

The public is also reminded that the Department of Public Health’s Speakers Bureau is also offering presentations to community groups that focus on mosquito-borne disease prevention.

This includes both Zika and West Nile. For more information or to schedule a presentation, please visit:  http://bit.ly/EPHealthSpeakers

The mission of the Department of Public Health is to provide research and evaluation, prevention, intervention, and mobilization services to the people of El Paso so they can be healthy, productive, safe, and secure.

For more information on the programs and services offered by the El Paso Department of Public Health, visit EPHealth.com or dial 2-1-1.

West Nile strikes San Elizario Man; Total Cases now at 3 for Season

While the City of El Paso Department of Public Health continues to remind residents that preventing mosquito bites can help prevent the Zika virus, officials announced another case of West Nile virus in the area. The patient is a man in his early 40’s who lives in San Elizario. He is currently recovering from the neuro-invasive form of the disease.

“We know that less than one percent of those infected will develop this more serious form of the disease,” said Fernando Gonzalez, Lead Epidemiologist. “But we need to remember that there is the possibility of developing a serious neurologic illness such as encephalitis or meningitis” (inflammation of the brain or surrounding tissues).

The symptoms of neurologic illness can include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors, seizures, or paralysis. Serious illness can occur in people of any age. However, people over 60 years of age are at the greatest risk for severe disease.

Additionally, two more mosquito traps in same location have tested positive for West Nile virus, bringing the total number of positive traps to four.

With the Zika virus now being spread locally in Florida, and with other mosquito-borne disease threats, the Department of Public Health continues to recommend mosquito bite prevention tips. The recommendations are:

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants
  • Drain standing water both inside and outside your home – Tip and Toss!
  • Stay in cool places with air conditioning and window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside
  • Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents with one of the following active ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or para-menthane-diol (Do not use insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months old)

To report standing water or other mosquito breeding sites, call the Environmental Services Department Vector Control Program at 3-1-1.

The public is also reminded that the Department of Public Health’s Speakers Bureau is also offering presentations to community groups that focus on mosquito-borne disease prevention. This includes both

Zika and West Nile. For more information or to schedule a presentation, please visit:  http://www.elpasotexas.gov/public-health/special-projects/speakers-bureau

The mission of the Department of Public Health is to provide research and evaluation, prevention, intervention, and mobilization services to the people of El Paso so they can be healthy, productive, safe, and secure. For more information on the programs and services offered by the Department of Public Health, visit EPHealth.com or dial 2-1-1

Second Local West Nile Case Confirmed in El Paso

Today, the City of El Paso Department of Public Health received its second confirmed case of West Nile virus for the year. The patient, who is recovering, is a man in his mid-20’s who lives in Central El Paso.

Additionally, two mosquito traps in the Mission Valley have tested positive for West Nile virus.

“This new case and new positive mosquito pools are a reminder that mosquitoes are active and we can say for sure, some of them have the potential to spread disease,” said Fernando Gonzalez, Lead Epidemiologist.

With the Zika virus now being spread locally in Florida, and with other mosquito-borne disease threats, the Health Department continues to recommend mosquito bite prevention tips. The recommendations are:

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants
  • Drain standing water both inside and outside your home
  • Stay in cool places with air conditioning and window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside
  • Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents with one of the following active ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or para-menthane-diol (Do not use insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months old)

To report standing water or other mosquito breeding sites, call the Environmental Services Department Vector Control Program at 3-1-1.

El Paso Water, City Health Department partner for ‘Zika Zero’ Event Saturday

As we approach the wetter months here in the Borderland, El Paso Water – along with local health officials – are looking to inform residents on the threat of the Zika Virus.

The World Health Organization has declared Zika a public health emergency, and while the vast majority of cases are outside the country, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is monitoring hundreds of cases in the United States.

Texas has had 63 reported cases.  To date, no cases have been reported in El Paso.

“El Paso Water is pleased to partner with The City Public Health Department and Environmental Services and other community partners on the ‘Zika Zero’ campaign, said Lisa Rosendorf, El Paso Water spokeswoman and member of the City’s Zika Task Force.

“We all need to learn what actions to take to protect ourselves and our families from this virus,” she added.

For that reason, Rosendorf is encouraging the public to attend the “Zika Zero at TecH20: A Family Learning Event,” Saturday at 10751 Montana. The event, which will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., is free to the public.

Experts will share information with adults on travel advisories, health risks and Zika transmission.

The event will also feature educational activities for children, including the opportunity to look through microscopes at mosquitoes with scientists from the University of Texas at El Paso.

The CDC notes that Zika is spread by the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti species mosquito—aggressive daytime biters that can also bite at night. The CDC also warns that the virus can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus. Infection during pregnancy can cause certain birth defects.

While many people infected with the virus won’t show any symptoms, common signs include: fever, rash and joint pain. There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika.

As a proactive measure to ensure that El Paso residents limit breeding grounds and the possibility for mosquito-transmitted diseases, the City of El Paso Department of Public Health has asked the public to toss any items around the exterior of their home that retain water.

Health officials have said that rains create breeding grounds for mosquitos that are often responsible for spreading diseases such as the West Nile Virus and have the potential to introduce Zika to the El Paso area.

Health department spokesman Armando Saldivar said the reason the City, County and other partners are working together to get the word out on Zika in the region is because if just one person is infected with the virus, a simple mosquito bite to that person could start a chain reaction and spread the virus.

“Unlike other mosquito-borne viruses, with Zika, an uninfected mosquito can be infected if it bites a person carrying the virus,” Saldivar said. “This creates the possibility of ballooning cases if we don’t prevent transmission. This is why we are pushing for zero cases in the region.”

Aside from urging people to eliminate retaining water from homes and yards, health and city officials are also encouraging residents to take the following safety measures during mosquito season.

 Wear long-sleeve shirts and long pants

 Stay in cool places with air conditioning and windows and door screens to keep mosquitos outside

 Use insect repellents

 For more information visit www.EPHealth.com under the Zika Virus page.

Mosquito Season is Zika Prevention Season; City Reminds Residents to ‘Tip and Toss’

The City of El Paso Department of Public Health is asking residents across the borderland to take a proactive approach against mosquito-borne diseases by making sure they Tip and Toss items that are retaining water in their yards.

The message comes after recent rains which have created the potential for mosquito breeding in El Paso. These mosquitoes are responsible for spreading various diseases such as West Nile virus and have the potential of bringing the Zika virus to our area.

“We need to make sure that emptying items with stagnant water outside our homes is as common as watering the grass or sweeping the sidewalk,” said Fernando Gonzalez, Lead Epidemiologist. “We need adults, children, and everyone in the household to consider the effects of standing water after it rains.”

The Department also wants to get residents in the habit of using the following additional prevention measures:

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants
  • Stay in cool places with air conditioning and window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside
  • Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents with one of the following active ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or para-menthane-diol. (Do not use insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months old.)

To report standing water or other mosquito breeding sites, call the Environmental Services Department Vector Control Program at 3-1-1.

Department of Health Confirms first West Nile Case in El Paso this Year

The City of El Paso announced today that the first case of West Nile Virus in El Paso this season has been confirmed. The patient is a man in his late 70’s who lives in the central part of town.

The news comes as the Department of Public Health begins its efforts to prevent mosquito-borne diseases like West Nile and the newly emerging Zika virus.

“There are two different mosquito species that carry these two diseases and others,” said Fernando Gonzalez, Lead Epidemiologist. “Both of the mosquito types are known to be present in our city but behave differently in that the mosquito that carries Zika is active both indoors and outdoors and is active at all times of the day and night,” he said.

Because of the threat of Zika virus as well as West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne diseases, the Department continues to recommend mosquito bite prevention tips as provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention which are different than prevention tips previously promoted. The new tips are as follows:

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants
  • Drain standing water both inside and outside your home
  • Stay in cool places with air conditioning and window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside
  • Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents with one of the following active ingredients: DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or para-menthane-diol

(Do not use insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months old)

To report standing water or other mosquito breeding sites, call the Environmental Services Department Vector Control Program at 3-1-1.

The mission of the Department of Public Health is to provide research and evaluation, prevention, intervention, and mobilization services to the people of El Paso so they can be healthy, productive, safe, and secure.

For more information on the programs and services offered by the Department of Public Health, visit EPHealth.com or dial 2-1-1

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