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2 new cases, 2 additional deaths from West Nile virus reported in Dallas County

The health department has reported 11 West Nile virus cases this year, four of which were West Nile-associated deaths.
Students from the University of North Texas Health Science Center examine mosquitoes caught in traps set up at Fort Worth fire stations to monitor the spread of West Nile virus.

Health officials say there have been two additional deaths and two new cases of West Nile virus Wednesday in Dallas County.

Dallas County Health and Human Services said the two deaths were a 75-year-old Richardson resident in the ZIP code of 75081 and a 53-year-old Dallas resident of the ZIP code 75208.

They mark the county's third and fourth deaths related to West Nile virus this year. The first two deaths were reported on Sunday.

The health department has reported 11 West Nile virus cases, four of which were West Nile-associated deaths.

The two additional cases were in a 66-year-old resident of 75227 ZIP code and a 40-year-old resident of the 75233 ZIP code.

This season, mosquito samples have tested positive for the virus in the cities of Addison, Balch Springs, Carrollton, Cedar Hill, Coppell, Dallas, Desoto, Duncanville, Farmers Branch, Garland, Glenn Heights, Highland Park, Hutchins, Irving, Lancaster, Mesquite, Richardson, Rowlett, and University Park. 

Ground spraying is scheduled this week in the cities of Cockrell Hill, Desoto, Dallas, Duncanville, Glenn Heights, and Lancaster, the department said.

The virus has been a significant issue in Tarrant County as well. The Tarrant County Commissioner's Court approved aerial spraying at a meeting Tuesday to control the spread of West Nile virus.

On Aug. 27, the city of Denton entered into Risk Level 5, indicating that the probability of a person contracting a mosquito-borne disease like West Nile Virus is high. 

"The confirmation of additional human cases and deaths due to West Nile virus this year is an extremely important reminder to the community of the need to take steps to avoid mosquito bites and to reduce mosquito populations," said health director Dr. Philip Huang.

Severe virus infections can cause neurologic complications such as encephalitis. Milder symptoms include fever, headache and muscle aches. There is no vaccine or specific treatment for WNV.

Advice from Dallas County Health and Human Services:

  • DEET: All Day, Every Day: Whenever you’re outside, use insect repellents that contain DEET or other EPA approved repellents and follow instructions.
  • Dress: Wear long, loose, and light-colored clothing outside. 
  • Drain: Drain or treat all standing water in and around your home or workplace where mosquitoes could lay eggs.
  • All Day long: Day, Dusk and Dawn - Limit your time outdoors mosquitos are active anytime day or night.