EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The City of El Paso Department of Public Health (DPH) has confirmed its fourth case of the severe West Nile virus disease in the community, officials announced Thursday.

The city reported a man is his late 60s with underlying medical conditions, who was also COVID-19 positive, was confirmed to have contracted the Central Nervous System West Nile Virus (WNV) disease and is recovering at home.

“It is extremely important for individuals to take proper precautions against mosquitoes, especially those who are most vulnerable.”

said City-County Health Authority Dr. Hector Ocaranza.

Symptoms of West Nile infection include fever, headache, tiredness, body aches, nausea, vomiting and swollen lymph glands, however, eight out of 10 people infected with the WNV will not develop symptoms.

The city also says 1 in 5 people who are infected develop West Nile fever, an illness that includes a fever and other symptoms such as body aches, joint pain, headache or a rash. About 1 out of 150 infected people develop severe illness affecting the central nervous system and about 1 out of 10 cases of severe illness are fatal.

People over the age of 60 and individuals with certain medical conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease, and people who have received organ transplants are at high risk.

According to the city, these are some of the best ways to avoid exposure to mosquito-borne diseases:

  • DEET – Use insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, IR3535, or 2-undecanone when you go outdoors.
  • DRESS – When weather permits, wear long sleeves, long pants, and socks when outdoors. Mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing so it’s recommended to spray your clothes with repellent.
  • DUSK and DAWN – Although mosquitoes associated with West Nile 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. Don’t forget to change your pet’s water bowl daily.

For more information and tips, click here, under the Emergency Preparedness tab.

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