Authorities from the Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) have reported the third case of West Nile Virus (WNV) for the 2015 season in the Dallas county on Wednesday, Aug. 12.

According to the DCHHS, they are still waiting for the confirmation of the case from the Texas Department of State Health Services. The patient was diagnosed with West Nile Neuroinvasive Disease and lives in the 75214 zip code. No further information regarding the identity of the individual has been released due to personal and medical confidentiality reasons.

The first case of West Nile Virus for 2015 was reported on July 21. The second case followed shortly and was reported on Friday, Aug. 7.

The spokesperson of the city said that it is Dallas' protocol to perform focused ground spraying for mosquitoes in the locations where the West Nile virus has been validated in the insects. Mosquito traps have been placed in the different areas but the traps where the human cases were reported tested negative for the virus. With this, no spraying will be held. The city will then install another trap in the area so as to obtain further data regarding the activities of the mosquitoes, says Crystal Woods, spokesperson for Code Compliance.

WNV is transmitted to humans when they get bitten by contaminated mosquitoes. The mosquitoes contract the virus from feeding on the blood of infected birds. Infected mosquitoes may also spread the virus to other animals.

WNV is characterized by fever, muscle pains and headache. When the disease advances, neurological complications such as encephalitis may develop. At present, there is no specific treatment or vaccine available to fight WNV.

The public is asked to stay away from mosquitoes and mosquito-prone areas at all times. Aside from that, residents are encouraged to practice the "4Ds" approach to continuously decrease the risk of contracting the virus. The 4Ds practice include:

  • DEET - always apply insect repellents that contain DEET or other EPA- approved formulas. Use it whenever there is a need to go out but instructions should be read first and followed.

  • Dress - wear long-sleeves shirt, long pants and loose clothing that are light-colored.

  • Drain - get rid of stagnant water around the house or in the workplace.

  • Dusk and Dawn - prevent staying outdoors during the dusk and dawn as these are when mosquitoes are most active.

Photo: John Tann | Flickr

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