The City of El Paso Department of Public Health Thursday announced the death of an 81-year-old man who was confirmed to have been infected with West Nile virus.
Officials say the man, who lived in the 79936 zip code, 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.”
The Department also recorded a 14th case of the disease in an 83-year-old man who resides in the 79924 zip code.
Department officials continue to urge residents to practice the four Ds in order 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 and
• 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 (915) 3-1-1.
• 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.
Source: El Paso Department of Public Health