According to the Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS), one fatal case of West Nile virus was reported in Dallas (Texas) in early August. The patient was an 88-year-old woman. In addition, between January 1 and early August, at least three cases of West Nile virus were reported in the city. Local health authorities have reminded the public to wear insect repellant to reduce their exposure to the illness.
Dallas County reported 26 cases of West Nile Virus (including two fatal cases) in 2017.
West Nile virus is a disease most commonly transmitted by mosquitoes. The majority of infected people exhibit no symptoms, but it is estimated that 20 percent of infected people exhibit symptoms of West Nile fever and 1 percent develop severe neurological infections such as encephalitis and meningitis, certain effects of which can be permanent. The Center for Disease Control notes that people over 50 have an increased risk of getting severe illness from the West Nile virus.
Travelers in Texas are advised to take measures to protect themselves from mosquito bites - e.g. by wearing covering clothing, using insect repellent, and sleeping in an air conditioned room - and to eliminate possible mosquito breeding grounds in and around their residences (small pockets of fresh water, such as rain water that has collected in cans, bottles, tires, flower pots, clogged gutters, etc.). Individuals exhibiting symptoms of serious infection should seek medical attention immediately.
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