On April 8, Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) reported its first human case of West Nile virus (WNV) infection in Dallas County in 2022.
Officials say the patient is a male residing in Dallas ZIP Code 75219 and has been diagnosed with West Nile Neuroinvasive Disease (WNND).
For confidentiality and privacy reasons, DCHHS does not disclose any personal patient information.
WNV is a disease transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes can become infected when they feed on the blood of infected birds.
Infected mosquitoes can then transmit WNV to humans and animals. Severe WNV infections can lead to neurological complications such as encephalitis.
“We are in the early stages of WNV season and need to start thinking about the possible threat that West Nile virus poses to our community as people go out to enjoy outdoor activities,” said Dr. Philip Huang, Director of DCHHS.
Although there is no vaccine to prevent infection, Huang suggests that the best way to prevent West Nile is to remember to use the 4 Ds to protect yourself from being bitten:
- DEET: Whenever you are outdoors, use insect repellents containing DEET or other EPA-approved insect repellents and follow the directions.
- DRESS: Wear long, loose, light-colored clothing when outdoors.
- DRAIN: Drain or treat any standing water in and around your home or workplace where mosquitoes could lay eggs.
- From morning to night: Limit your time outdoors during those times when mosquitoes are most active.
According to the CDC, about 1 in 5 infected people develop a fever along with symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pain, vomiting, and diarrhea or rash.
For more information, visit the DCHHS website: https://www.dallascounty.org/departments/dchhs/westnile.php.