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Second West Nile virus death reported in El Paso
By: Jesse Martinez
EL PASO, Texas Local health officials said an 81-year-old man infected with the West Nile virus died, bringing the total cases this season to 15 with two reported deaths.
Officials said the man lived in the 79936 ZIP code and also had an underlying medical condition.
"As a department, we work to prevent having to share this type of news, and sincerely hope that our efforts help make a difference in reducing the number of people who are infected and who succumb to this disease," said Bruce Parsons, assistant public health director. "We express our deepest condolences to those who knew and loved this man."
Another case of the virus was reported in the 79924 ZIP code as an 83-year-old man came in contact with the virus, officials said.
The following is a list of reported cases of West Nile virus in the El Paso area this year:
16 y/o Male 79928
52 y/o Female 79936
62 y/o Female 79925
62 y/o Female 79932
63 y/o Female 79924
70 y/o Female 79922
48 y/o Female 79924
59 y/o Female 79928
48 y/o Male 79915
66 y/o Male 79932
84 y/o Male 79903 (deceased)
84 y/o Male 79907
51 y/o Male 79932
83 y/o Male 79924
81 y/o Male 79936 (deceased)
The city Health Department released the following information to help prevent residents against the virus.
Local residents are also being asked to practice the four Ds to prevent the mosquito bites that transfer the disease:
Use insect repellents that contain DEET.
Drain any standing water.
Dress in long, loose and light-colored clothing.
Take extra care to avoid the outdoor and to use repellent and protective clothing from dusk to dawn.
To report large areas of standing water or areas suspected of mosquito breeding, call Environmental Services at 311.
About one in 150 people infected with WNV will develop severe illness, which 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.
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 at www.EPHealth.com and click on the West Nile Virus link.
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 by visiting www.EPHealth.com, and then clicking on the Speakers Bureau link under Special Projects.