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First Denton County resident dies from West Nile virus, health officials say

“Today’s announcement of a community member passing due to West Nile virus is a stark reminder to us all," said Juan Rodriguez with DCPH.
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A Denton County resident has died from the West Nile virus, health officials say. This is the first death due to West Nile in the county.

Health officials say due patient confidentiality, no further information will be released.

“Today’s announcement of a community member passing due to West Nile Virus is a stark reminder to us all,” Juan Rodriguez, DCPH chief epidemiologist and assistant director said. 

“Mosquitoes can be deadly. We urge community members to utilize the drain, dress, and defend recommendations to protect their families from illness and death.”

The West Nile virus has hit four major counties in North Texas, which includes Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant counties.

RELATED: Denton enters 'Risk Level 5,' reports 3 people test positive for West Nile virus

The West Nile virus can affect anyone, although people ages 50 and older have a higher risk of developing a severe infection, the department said.

About 20% of infected people will develop a fever with other symptoms such as headaches, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash.

Health officials recommend the following to minimize the risk of contracting West Nile: 

  • Drain standing water in your yard and neighborhood to minimize mosquito-breeding sites such as birdbaths, flowerpots, and clogged rain gutters. Consider the use of BTI briquettes, often called mosquito dunks, in standing water that cannot be eliminated.
  • Dress in long sleeves and pants when you are outside and spray thin clothing with repellent.
  • Defend yourself by using EPA-approved repellents.  Check for ingredients like DEET, Picaridin, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus.