Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) has confirmed the first West Nile Virus (WNV) death in Dallas County for the 2023 season. The victim, a female resident of South Irving with a zip code of 75061, succumbed to West Nile Neuroinvasive Disease. This unfortunate incident marks the second WNV-related human fatality reported in the state of Texas this year.
Dr. Philip Huang, Director of DCHHS, expressed his condolences and shared his concern over the development. "It's very sad to report the first West Nile Virus death this season," Dr. Huang stated. "This again reminds us how important it is to protect against mosquito bites that can carry multiple diseases like WNV. Mosquito activity remains high in Dallas County."
Due to privacy and confidentiality considerations, DCHHS refrained from disclosing further details about the patient. However, health officials emphasized the urgency of taking preventive measures to reduce the risk of WNV and other mosquito-borne illnesses.
West Nile Virus is primarily transmitted through the bite of infected mosquitoes. While most individuals infected with WNV experience mild symptoms or none at all, severe cases can lead to neuroinvasive disease, affecting the central nervous system. Symptoms of neuroinvasive disease may include severe headache, high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, muscle weakness, and paralysis.
As summer temperatures continue to rise, experts recommend implementing measures to mitigate mosquito exposure. These precautions include using insect repellent, wearing long sleeves and pants, and eliminating standing water where mosquitoes breed. Additionally, residents are advised to ensure that window screens are in good condition to prevent mosquitoes from entering homes.