Dallas County health officials have reported the first human West Nile virus (WNV) case of 2017 Friday.

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

According to the Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS), the patient was a Dallas resident with underlying medical conditions who was previously diagnosed with West Nile neuroinvasive disease Friday, July 14.

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.

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.

Through Wednesday, Texas has reported 14 human WNV cases. In 2016, Texas reported 370 human cases of West Nile illness, including 18 deaths.


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