Frank Heinz

West Nile Virus Confirmed in Addison, County Health Department Says

Mosquito carrying the virus trapped in the 75254 ZIP code

Dallas County Health and Human Services says West Nile virus has been confirmed in Addison.

The virus was found in a mosquito trapped in the 75254 ZIP code.

As of May 20, 2019, county officials have not released any plans to spray for mosquitoes in light of the positive sample.

West Nile virus can be spread to people and animals through a mosquito bite -- mosquitos pick up the virus when they feed on blood from infected birds.  The virus cannot be spread person to person.

Symptoms for West Nile Neuroinvasive Disease include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, and paralysis.

According to the World Health Organization it is estimated that approximately 1 in 150 persons infected with the West Nile virus will develop the more severe form of disease. Serious illness can occur in people of any age, however people over the age of 50 and some immunocompromised persons (for example, transplant patients) are at the highest risk for getting severely ill when infected with WNV.

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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