First human case of West Nile reported in Dallas

This the first-known human case in the 2023 season

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The first human case of West Nile virus this season is confirmed in Dallas, county health officials say.

The Dallas County Health and Human Services Department confirmed the case on Monday, saying the patient is a man from Dallas who was diagnosed with West Nile neuroinvasive disease (WNND), the more severe form of the disease.

Symptoms of West Nile neuroinvasive disease include neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness and paralysis. The neuroinvasive form of the disease can be deadly.

Due to privacy and confidentiality reasons, DCHHS does not disclose personal information about the patient.

“We are reporting the first human case of West Nile virus of the 2023 season. WNV is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito, and people should be careful when going out outside to enjoy outdoor activities,” said Dr. Philip Huang, DCHHS Director. “Please follow the 4 Ds to do everything you can to avoid mosquito bites.”

Several cities scattered across North Texas have detected the West Nile virus in mosquitos this season. Many cities have conducted ground spraying in an effort to combat the threat.

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.

There is no vaccine or specific treatment for West Nile virus. You can find more information on the West Nile virus here.

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