DALLAS — Dallas County Health and Human Services has confirmed its second human case of West Nile virus for the 2007 season.
The patient, residing in zip code 75206, has been diagnosed with West Nile Encephalitis and is recovering. DCHHS previously reported a case of West Nile fever diagnosed in a patient residing in zip code 75104. Additional information could not be released by the DCHHS due to confidentiality and personal privacy reasons.
“Dallas County wants to alert the public that the mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus are back,” DCHHS director Zachary Thompson said. “Our mosquito abatement team, in partnership with our municipalities, is taking the appropriate actions to ensure the safety of our residents.
“With the widespread nature of West Nile this season, it is imperative that residents also do their part by taking the necessary precautions to avoid exposure to the virus,” he said.
The most severe type of disease in humans infected with West Nile virus is sometimes called “neuroinvasive disease” because it affects a person’s nervous system. Specific types of neuroinvasive disease include West Nile encephalitis, West Nile meningitis or West Nile meninigio-encephalitis.
West Nile fever is another type of illness that can occur in people who become infected with the virus. Symptoms of West Nile virus in humans may include fever, headache, tiredness, muscle aches, confusion, stiff neck, nausea and sometimes a rash. Although the illness can be as short as a few days, even healthy people have been sick for several weeks. The incubation period for West Nile virus varies from three days to 15 days. As with most viral infections, there is no specific treatment for West Nile virus infection. Anyone who experiences symptoms consistent with WNV should see a physician as soon as possible.
The DCHHS recommends people follow the “three Ds” - dress in long clothing, drain any standing water and use insect repellent that contains DEET, picaradin or lemon oil of eucalyptus.
To date, Dallas County has identified 27 sites across the county with mosquito pools infected with West Nile virus. In 2006, Dallas County reported 106 confirmed human cases of West Nile virus and four deaths.
In 2005, Dallas County had 43 confirmed human cases of West Nile with one death.
In 2004, DCHHS reported 16 human West Nile cases with no deaths. In 2003, Dallas County had 54 human West Nile cases with four deaths. In 2002, the first year the virus was reported in Dallas County, there were 27 human cases with three deaths.
For more information about mosquito activities in Dallas County, call the DCHHS Environmental Health Division at 214-819-2115 or visit our West Nile website at www.dallascounty.org.