Dallas County Health and Human Services said Tuesday it has confirmed the first human case of West Nile virus in the county for the 2013 season.
The patient lives in the 75080 zip code and was diagnosed with West Nile fever. The victim is described as a 46-year-old man who is exhibiting a fever and mild signs of the virus. He lives in the central part of the city west of Central Expressway just north of Arapaho Road. As per usual, further information about the patient is being withheld due to privacy reasons.
"Dallas County wants to alert the public that the mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus are here and they're active," Zachary Thompson, DCHHS director, said in a statement. "Our mosquito surveillance program and the county and municipal abatement teams are taking the appropriate actions to ensure the safety of our residents. However, it is important that residents do their part by taking the necessary precautions to avoid exposure to the virus."
A ground-spraying operation was conducted just south of the West Nile virus victim's neighborhood on Sunday and Monday after a mosquito that tested positive for the virus was found in a trap in the area. But health officials urge people to be vigilant when going outside, saying a spraying is only a measure to help limit exposure.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states, "The easiest and best way to avoid WNV is to prevent mosquito bites.
- When you are outdoors, use insect repellent containing an EPA-registered active ingredient. Follow the directions on the package.
- Many mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn. Be sure to use insect repellent and wear long sleeves and pants at these times or consider staying indoors during these hours.
- Make sure you have good screens on your windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.
- Get rid of mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from flower pots, buckets and barrels. Change the water in pet dishes and replace the water in bird baths weekly. Drill holes in tire swings so water drains out. Keep children's wading pools empty and on their sides when they aren't being used."