DALLAS – A 16th person has died from West Nile in Dallas County.
Health and Human Services Director Zach Thompson said the person lived in the 75228 ZIP code, which is in the Casa Linda area of East Dallas. He was a man in his forties with an underlying health condition.
The death comes days after health officials announced that no mosquitoes in the county had tested positive for the virus in two weeks. But Thompson did warn that West Nile remains a risk here. The most serious form of the virus, West Nile neuroinvasive disease, causes severe headaches, high fever, neck stiffness and more, which is detailed on this Centers for Disease Control page.
Roughly 1 in 150 people infected with West Nile will have it develop into a more severe form, which can take weeks. So far there have been 371 human cases of West Nile in Dallas County. There have been 260 and seven deaths in Tarrant County and 168 human cases and two deaths in Denton County. Collin has seen 73 and four deaths.
Both Dallas and Denton Counties used aerial spraying this summer to fight the mosquitoes; Collin and Tarrant have employed strategic ground spraying.
The CDC has said 2012 is on track to surpassing 2002 as the worst year ever for infection. As the Associated Press reported last week:
"While the height of mosquito season has passed, infections are expected to continue into October, and severe illness and death reports are expected to keep coming in for months, CDC officials said."
Thompson advises residents follow the four D’s to further protect themselves from mosquito bites.
- use Insect repellents that contain DEET
- Drain any standing water
- Dress in long, loose and light-colored clothing
- take extra care to use repellent and protective clothing from Dusk to Dawn