Dallas Confirms New Human Case Of West Nile Virus
Dallas County Health and Human Services has confirmed its second human case of West Nile virus for the 2008 season. The patient, residing in zip code 75052, was diagnosed with West Nile Encephalitis. The patient is recovering. A previous case of West Nile Encephalitis was diagnosed in a patient who resides in zip code 75180. For medical confidentiality and personal privacy reasons, DCHHS is not providing additional information. DCHHS has notified the City of Grand Prairie.
Studies have shown that the majority of people who contracted the more serious form of West Nile virus did not use insect repellent. In 2007, Dallas County reported 23 confirmed human cases of West Nile virus with no deaths. In 2006, Dallas County reported 106 confirmed human cases of West Nile virus and four deaths. In 2005, Dallas County had 43 confirmed human cases of West Nile with one death. In 2004, DCHHS reported a total of 16 human West Nile cases with no deaths. In 2003, Dallas County had a total of 54 human West Nile cases with 4 deaths. In 2002, the first year the virus was reported in Dallas County, there were 27 human cases with 3 deaths.
The City of Grand Prairie and DCHHS staffs are partnering to distribute public education materials throughout the community. The best way to avoid exposure to West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne illnesses is to use the three Ds - use insect repellent that contains DEET, picaradin or lemon oil of eucalyptus, drain any standing water, and dress in long clothing.
DCHHS West Nile prevention activities include surveillance, source reduction, larvaciding (killing mosquito larvae or wigglers), adulticiding (spraying for adult mosquitoes), and public education. Dallas County has enhanced is early detection capability through the use of gravid traps for mosquito collection and global positioning systems equipment provided by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS).