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One West Nile-Related Death, More New Cases

One West Nile-Related Death, More New Cases
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POSTED: Wednesday, September 5, 2012 - 12:08pm

UPDATED: Thursday, September 6, 2012 - 11:28am

Public urged to be vigilant as rainy season continues to breed mosquitoes.

The City of El Paso Department of Public Health confirmed today that a 77-year-old man was the first West-Nile virus-related death in our community. Michael Hill, Public Health Director issued the following statement in relation to the recent news.

“On behalf of the Department of Public Health, we offer our sincere condolences to the patient’s family and loved-ones. We continue to work hard at identifying cases of this disease and ask that the public listen to the warnings and take all precautions regarding West Nile virus so that we prevent more illness and loss of life.”

Department officials continue to confirm new incidents of the disease with the total to 13 so far this year. The following is a list of confirmed cases of West Nile virus in the El Paso community:

Patient Age Zip Code

1. Male 54 79935
2. Male 34 79912
3. Male 75 79915
4. Male 25 79936
5. Female 81 79907
6. Male 80 79905
7. Male 77 79915
8. Male 53 79912
9. Male 68 79936

10. Male 71 79849 (new)
11. Male 57 79938 (new)
12. Female 47 79927 (new)
13. Male 49 79915 (new)

Education
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 electronically or via telephone at:

http://tinyurl.com/8b6qptx
(915) 771-5727

Prevention
The best way to avoid exposure to West Nile Virus is to practice the four Ds:
• use Insect repellents that contain DEET
• Drain any standing water
• Dress in long, loose and light-colored clothing and
• take extra care to use repellent and protective clothing from Dusk to Dawn.
To report standing water or mosquito breeding, call Environmental Services at (915) 599-6290.
Symptoms
• Serious Symptoms in a Few People. About one in 150 people infected
with WNV will develop severe illness. The severe symptoms can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. These symptoms may last several weeks, and neurological effects may be permanent.
• Milder Symptoms in Some People. Up to 20 percent of the people who become infected have symptoms such as fever, headache, and body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back. Symptoms can last for as short as a few days, though even healthy people have become sick for several weeks.
• No Symptoms in Most People. Approximately 80 percent of people (about 4 out of 5) who are infected with WNV will not show any symptoms at all.

For more information on West Nile virus, please visit the Health Department website:
www.elpasotexas.gov/health/westnile.asp
or the CDC at:
http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/wnv_factSheet.htm.
 

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