Dallas County

Dallas County Reports First West Nile Virus Death of 2021

Dallas County health officials reported the county's first death this year in a resident who contracted West Nile virus. The victim is a 90-year-old from Dallas.

Dallas County Health and Human Services did not identify the person, citing medical confidentiality and personal privacy reasons.

DCHHS has reported two human cases of West Nile virus this year. The first was on July 16.

Four out of five people infected with West Nile virus never develop any symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The other Dallas County case was in a Farmers Branch resident whose information was also undisclosed due to medical confidentiality and personal privacy reasons.

In 2020, Dallas County reported five deaths from West Nile, including a significant increase in a significant increase in WNV disease prevalence with 20 human cases and 498 positive mosquito tests.

"We are very saddened to report our first West Nile Virus death this season,” DCHHS Director Dr. Philip Huang said. “This again reminds us about how important it is to take every possible precaution to protect against mosquito bites. Due to hot temperatures contributing to increasing numbers of mosquitoes, the risk of disease due to West Nile Virus usually increases at this time of year and is highest throughout the summer and early fall. Please remember to implement the Four D’s.”

How to Protect Yourself From Mosquito Bites

  • Dress in long sleeves, pants when outside: For extra protection, spray thin clothing with repellent.
  • DEET: Make sure this ingredient is in your insect repellent.
  • Drain standing water in your yard and neighborhood: Mosquitoes can develop in any water stagnant for more than three days.

It has been recommended in the past that to avoid mosquito bites you should avoid being outdoors during Dusk and Dawn (the 4 Ds). While this is true for mosquitoes that commonly carry the West Nile virus, other types of mosquitoes that are more likely to carry Zika, dengue and chikungunya are active during the day. When outdoors, no matter what time of day, adjust your dress accordingly and wear insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus as your first line of defense against insect bites

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