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Third Case of West Nile Virus Confirmed in El Paso

The City of El Paso Department of Public Health has confirmed a third case of West Nile Virus in the area. The patient is a man in his 40’s who lives in the Mission Valley and reportedly suffers from other chronic medical conditions.

This is the third case of West Nile Virus confirmed so far this season and the second case confirmed this week.

“High temperatures, rain, and mosquitoes that are native to our area have unfortunately created a recipe for plenty of mosquito breeding and mosquito-borne diseases,” said Fernando Gonzalez, Lead Epidemiologist.

“Although we did not have any West Nile-related deaths last year, we have had them in the past and we also have the Zika Virus and other mosquito-borne diseases to deal with, so we need to do everything we can to prevent mosquito bites.”

Prevention includes practicing 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.

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 www.EPHealth.com and clicking on “Special Projects.”

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