EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Tuesday morning, officials with the City of El Paso’s Department of Public Health (DPH) confirmed two deaths due to the West Nile Virus (WNV).
According to officials, the men were in their 60s and 70s, with underlying medical conditions living in the 79936 zip code, which is Far East El Paso and the 79907 zip code in the Lower Valley area.
“The community needs to take into account that for most people a mosquito bite is a nuisance, but for others it can be very serious particularly for those with medical conditions that impair their immune system’s ability to fight infection if the mosquito is carrying a disease like West Nile,” said City-County Health Authority Dr. Hector Ocaranza. “As long as we still have mosquitoes biting in El Paso, the threat of disease continues to be present.”
Symptoms of West Nile include fever, headache, tiredness, body aches, nausea, vomiting and swollen lymph glands.
Officials remind residents that people over the age of 60 are at the highest risk of serious illness. Individuals with certain medical conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease, and people who have received organ transplants are also at high risk.
Eight out of 10 people infected with the WNV will not develop symptoms. However, 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.
Residents can report standing water and mosquito breeding by calling (915) 212-6000
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