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Texas' first West Nile case of 2019 reported in El Paso

(James Gathany/CDC)

EL PASO, Texas – Texas' first West Nile case of 2019 was reported in El Paso, health officials confirmed. 

The El Paso Department of Public Health reported that an adult resident of El Paso County tested positive for the disease in July. Additional cases reported by El Paso are likely to add to the total once they are reviewed by the state, health officials said. 

What is West Nile?

It is a disease only transmitted through the bite infected mosquitoes. Many people exposed to the virus don't get sick, but about 20 percent develop symptoms. Health officials said up to 80 percent of those infected will usually recover on their own. 

What are the symptoms of the virus?

  • Stiff neck
  • Vision problems
  • Body tremors
  • Mental confusion
  • Memory loss
  • Seizures 

How do you protect yourself from the virus? 

The Texas Department of State Health Services recommends practicing the "Four Ds":

  • Use insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
  • Dress in long sleeves and long pants when you are outside.
  • Stay indoors at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Drain standing water where mosquitoes breed. Common breeding sites include old tires, flowerpots and clogged rain gutters.

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