26th Case of West Nile Virus In El Paso County

Thursday, October 14, 2010 - 2:15pm

The 26th case of West Nile Virus in El Paso so far this year has been identified in a 37-year-old man who lives in the 79907 zip code.  The City of El Paso Department of Public Health would like to remind the public that the threat of West Nile Virus exists throughout our area and there is no way to positively determine if those infected, contracted the illness in or around their homes.

The Department reminds residents to avoid outdoor activities during dusk and dawn, and if you are outside, cover up by wearing pants, long-sleeved shirts, shoes and socks. Also, use a mosquito repellent that contains DEET (chemical name N,N-diethyl-metatolumide). Drain standing water on the ground, water in tires, plastic containers, cans, kiddie pools or any other type of container. Change water in pet bowls at least once a week.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

People over 50 at higher risk to get severe illness. People over the age of 50 are more likely to develop serious symptoms of WNV if they do get sick and should take special care to avoid mosquito bites.

Being outside means you are at risk. The more time spent outdoors, the more time you could be bitten by an infected mosquito.  Pay attention to avoiding mosquito bites if you spend a lot of time outside, either working or playing.

Risk through medical procedures is very low.  All donated blood is checked for WNV before being used.  The risk of getting WNV through blood transfusions and organ transplants is very small, and should not prevent people who need surgery from having it. If you have concerns, talk to your doctor.

To report mosquito breeding, call the Code Compliance Division of the City of El Paso Environmental Services Department at 599-6290.  Additional information is available by clicking the West Nile Virus link on the Health Department homepage at www.elpasotexas.gov/health

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