The City of El Paso Department of Public Health reports the first confirmed case of the West Nile Virus of the year.

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Public health officials say the first confirmed West Nile Virus case involves a male in his early 50s. The male patient from the 79902 area was taken to the hospital after the virus infected his nervous system but has since recovered and currently recovering at home.

According to the City of El Paso Department of Public Health, Human mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds, circulating the virus in their blood.

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Eight out of 10 people infected with the West Nile Virus will not develop symptoms. However, 1 in 5 people who are infected develops West Nile fever, an illness that includes:

  • Body aches
  • Joint pain
  • Headache
  • Rash
  • Tiredness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Swollen lymph glands

Who Is At Risk

  • About 1 out of 150 infected people develop severe illness affecting the central nervous system, and about 1 out of 10 cases of severe illness are fatal.
  • People over the age of 60 are at the highest risk of serious illness.
  • Individuals with certain medical conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease, and people who have received organ transplants.

Apart from the West Nile virus, El Paso residents are advised to take proactive measures to avoid mosquito bites, such as practicing the 4 D’s.

In early August, State officials identified the first pools of mosquitoes to test positive for the St. Louis encephalitis in El Paso County.

Authorities ask that residents report standing water areas by calling 915-212-6000 or visit EPHealth.com and also urge them to follow the four D’s to help avoid getting bit:

  • DEET - Use insect DEET repellents
  • DRESS - Wear long sleeves, long pants, and socks if possible when outdoors.
  • DUSK / DAWN – Avoid peak mosquito biting hours (from dusk to dawn)
  • DRAIN – Drain standing water from your yards or inside your homes, including flowerpots, gutters, pool covers, pet water dishes, birdbaths, and any standing water in general.

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