Renae Crutchfield, Public Information Officer
214.819.6329 (office) 214.394.8109 (cell)
Ganesh Shivaramaiyer, Interim Director
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DCHHS reports third human case of West Nile virus this year
DALLAS (Aug. 7, 2018) – Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) is reporting the third human case of West Nile virus (WNV) infection in Dallas County for 2018. The patient is a resident of the 75225 zip code of Dallas and has been diagnosed with West Nile neuroinvasive disease. The announcement comes shortly after DCHHS confirmed the first WNV death of the year. For medical confidentiality and personal privacy reasons, DCHHS does not provide additional identifying information.
“Controlling an epidemic of WNV infection is a community effort that calls upon residents to take preventative measures to reduce exposure,” said Ganesh Shivaramaiyer, DCHHS interim director. “Dallas County Health and Human Services not only conducts active surveillance to detect WNV and monitor infection rates locally but also educates the community to take preventative action.”
This season, mosquito samples have tested positive for WNV in the cities of Addison, Balch Springs, Coppell, Dallas, Desoto, Garland, Highland Park, Irving, Mesquite, Richardson, Rowlett, and University Park.
The best way to avoid exposure to West Nile virus is to avoid mosquito bites. Residents should use the 4Ds to reduce their risk:
- DEET All Day, Every Day: Whenever you’re outside, use insect repellents that contain DEET or other EPA approved repellents and follow instructions.
- Dress: Wear long, loose, and light-colored clothing outside.
- Drain: Drain or treat all standing water in and around your home or workplace.
- Dusk & Dawn: Limit outdoor activities during dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
WNV is a disease that is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes can become infected when they feed on the blood from infected birds. The infected mosquitoes can then transmit WNV to humans and animals. Severe WNV infections can cause neurologic complications such as encephalitis. Milder symptoms include fever, headache and muscle aches. There is no vaccine or specific treatment for WNV.
For more information on mosquito prevention follow DCHHS on Facebook and Twitter or go to: www.dallascounty.org/department/hhs/mosquito_prevention.html.
For information on previously reported cases and zip codes impacted by WNV go to: www.dallascounty.org/department/hhs/WestNileWatch.html