El Paso reports 4th human West Nile virus case


The El Paso Department of Health has reported the fourth human West Nile virus (WNV) case this year.

Image/CDC

The latest case is a man under the age of 20 who lives in Northeast El Paso. He has no underlying medical conditions.

“The current weather conditions, with rain and warm temperatures, are creating the perfect situation for increased mosquito breeding,” said Department of Public Health Assistant Director Bruce Parsons. “Considering that it only takes a teaspoon of stagnant water to enable breeding, we need everyone in our community to tip and toss any items that are collecting rainwater outside their homes.”

In addition to the practice of “tip and toss”, residents are encouraged to report large areas of standing water that may be breeding mosquitoes to the Environmental Services Department by calling 3-1-1. Residents can ‘fight the bite’ by reducing the spread of mosquito borne diseases using these prevention methods:

• DEET – Use insect repellents that contain DEET when outdoors.

• DRESS – Wear long sleeves, long pants, and socks when outdoors.

• DUSK and DAWN – Although mosquitoes associated with other diseases such as Zika can be active throughout the day; residents should take extra care during peak mosquito biting hours (from dusk to dawn) or consider avoiding outdoor activities during these times.

• DRAIN – Drain standing water from flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, and birdbaths.

There were 14 human cases of West Nile confirmed in El Paso last year and the most recent deaths associated with the disease were two deaths in 2015.