Health

First West Nile Case Confirmed this Season

Mosquito prevention urged as temperatures increase

EL PASO, Texas - The City's Health Department has confirmed the first West Nile Virus case of the season.

City officials said the victim is an East El Paso resident with underlying medical conditions.

A total of six West Nile Virus cases were reported last season, the most recent in mid January.

"We want to remind residents that mosquitoes are not just a nuisance but are carriers for some serious diseases," said Fernando Gonzalez, Lead Epidemiologist. "We need to be doing everything we can on a personal level to prevent mosquito bites and related disease such as West Nile, Zika, and Chikungunya."

The best way to avoid exposure to mosquito-borne diseases is to practice the "four Ds":

DEET - Use insect repellents when you go outdoors in order to optimize safety and effectiveness, repellents should be used according to label instructions.

DRESS - When weather permits, wearing long sleeves, long pants, and socks when outdoors can give extra protection. Mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing, so spraying clothing with repellent containing permethrin or another EPA-registered repellent will give extra protection. Don't apply repellents containing permethrin directly to skin. Rather, spray permethrin-containing products only on clothing.

DUSK and DAWN - Although mosquitoes associated with Zika can be active throughout the day, residents should take extra care during peak mosquito biting hours or consider avoiding outdoor activities during these times.

DRAIN - To reduce the number of mosquitoes around and outside your home, residents can empty any standing water from places such as flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, discarded tires, and birdbaths on a regular basis.

You can also mosquito-proof your home by installing or repairing screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.

To report standing water or mosquito breeding, please call 3-1-1.


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