Irving woman dies from West Nile, 12th victim in Dallas County

Zachary Thompson

Credit: WFAA

Dallas County Health and Human Services director Zachary Thompson offers an update on the West Nile virus outbreak.




Posted on August 27, 2012 at 12:31 PM

Updated Monday, Aug 27 at 3:51 PM

IRVING — An Irving woman in her 80s has died from the West Nile virus, marking the 12th victim in Dallas County to die from complications related to the mosquito-borne illness.

Dallas County Health and Human Services director Zachary Thompson confirmed the woman lived in the 75060 ZIP code, which is located in the heart of Irving. The woman also had underlying health issues, Thompson added. 

City officials there opted out of aerial spraying for West Nile. Irving voted to spray 3,800 acres, but the contractor in charge of the aerial dousing required cities to agree to spray at least 5,000 acres. 

The city has maintained that tests showed only a few Irving locations were considered “high-risk” for the virus. Rather than spray the minimum required, city leaders voted to continue with ground spraying in neighborhoods where mosquito traps caught specimens with West Nile. 

“In addition to the data supporting this decision, the city received an overwhelming amount of feedback from residents with concerns about the environmental hazards associated with aerial spraying,” the city said in a news release at the time of the decision. Read the full document here.

Last week, News 8’s David Schechter reported on the death of Dema Miller, an 83-year-old woman living in the 75060 ZIP code whose family said she died from West Nile.

Debbie Steadman, Miller’s daughter, said her mother suffered from spinal meningitis caused by a neuroinvasive form of the virus. 

Thompson, however, said privacy laws prevented the county from confirming Miller as the victim the department announced Monday.

"Our condolences go out to anyone who suffered a loss regarding WNV or any other serious illness, so that is first and foremost,"Irving Community Resources Director Chris Hooper told Schechter last week. "Our program, we think, is very effective. We were spraying months before this even started, so we feel we’ve been very aggressive and on point."

As of Friday, Dallas County has recorded 291 human cases of West Nile, 18 of which were diagnosed in Irving.