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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

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