DENTON -- The Denton County Health Department has confirmed a human case of West Nile virus in that county, the second recorded human case this summer in North Texas.

A man in his 40s in the City of Denton was diagnosed with West Nile fever, the milder form of the illness. No other patient information was released.

News of the first human case of West Nile in 2013 generated mixed reactions in Denton. Some folks are very concerned, others seem non-chalant.

Jake Hendricks said he was preparing for West Nile before the first case was reported.

"Well, it's quite scary," Hendricks said.

He lays out mosquito dunks to ward off larva. He sprays repellent with DEET. He worries about his neighbors.

"Residents should really understand, they may think they don't have any standing water," Hendricks said, "but unless they've done a tour of their property, they may be surprised."

Bruce Hunter who also lives in the affected ZIP code said West Nile is low on his list of priorities.

"It doesn't concern me that much, honestly," Hunter said. "If you look at the numbers, it's very low."

Even so, Hunter said he changes his bird bath daily, and always looks for little pockets of standing water.

The first human case in North Texas this season was announced in Tarrant County on June 14.

A case was suspected, but not confirmed, in Dallas County in June as well. This year, the Texas Department of State Health Services raised their standards for confirming cases of West Nile.

Additionally, Cockrell Hill, DeSoto, Duncanville, Highland Park, Grand Prairie, and Grapevine all announced planned ground spraying Thursday after mosquitoes in mosquito pools in those cities tested positive for West Nile. The spraying will begin at 10 p.m. each night, weather permitting, and continue into the early hours of the morning each night this weekend.

Residents in those areas are encouraged to stay inside and bring their pets indoors during spraying.

The health department advises residents to drain standing water, use an insect repellent containing the pesticide DEET, and wear long-sleeve shirts and pants outside at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes, the most common carrier of the virus, are most active.

It is important for residents to take precautions to prevent mosquito bites by minimizing outdoor exposure during peak mosquito activity, dressing appropriately and using DEET or other EPA-approved repellents, said Denton County Chief Epidemiologist Juan Rodriguez.

There were 184 human cases of West Nile virus, including two deaths reported to Denton County health officials in the 2012 season.


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