Dallas reports 1st human West Nile virus death




Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) is reporting the first West Nile virus (WNV) death in Dallas County for 2018. The patient was a resident of the 75229 zip code of Dallas and was diagnosed with West Nile neuroinvasive disease.

Dallas County, TX map Image/David Benbennick via Wikimedia Commons
Dallas County, TX map
Image/David Benbennick via Wikimedia Commons

To date, DCHHS has reported three human WNV cases year to date.

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.

Outbreaks in the United States 2012: A year in review

West Nile virus (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.

Image/CDC
Image/CDC

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.

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