By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

In El Paso, TX, city health officials have reported three additional human West Nile virus (WNV) cases, bringing the total in the city to 13. Two deaths have been recorded.

El Paso County, Texas
Image/David Benbennick

“It doesn’t appear that the mosquito-borne disease season will be coming to an end any time soon,” said Robert Resendes, Public Health Director. As we approach a holiday weekend, when many spend extra time outdoors, it is important that we remember to protect ourselves from getting bitten and contracting this and other diseases.

The disease is transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito. The illness is not spread person to person. Most people with the virus (eight out of 10) will have no symptoms or very mild symptoms of illness. About one in five people will develop mild symptoms which include fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. Most people with this type of West Nile virus recover completely but fatigue and weakness can last for weeks or months.

About one in 150 people who are infected develop a severe illness affecting the central nervous symptom such as encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord).