Human Case of West Nile Disease Confirmed

Filed under: City |

The Dallas County Health and Human Services has confirmed the first human case of West Nile Neuro-invasive Disease in the City of Duncanville, Southwood Dr. block.

image from Wikipedia

The 31 year-old female victim, whose name is not being released, has been hospitalized.

Dallas County has plans to spray the affected area in the next few days. Immediate measures were taken by the City of Duncanville to notify residents in the Harrington Park and Southwood Estates area with follow-up steps to take during the spraying process.

Anyone experiencing fever, headaches, myalgia, and fatigue, lasting 2-7 days should seek medical attention immediately.

City officials encourage all Duncanville residents to take the following measures to eliminate mosquito breeding sites on their property and to protect themselves from mosquito bites:

  • Dusk and Dawn are the times to stay indoors, as mosquitoes are more active during these hours.
  • Dress in long sleeves and pants when outdoors. For extra protection, spray thin clothing and exposed skin with repellant.
  • DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-tolu-amide) is an ingredient to look for in your insect repellent. Follow instructions on the label, and always wear repellent when outdoors.
  • Drain standing water in old tires, flowerpots, clogged gutters, wading pools, buckets, barrels and birdbaths.
  • Swimming Pool pumps and filters must be working and water must be clean and clear such that the bottom of the pool is visible at all times.

Residents should contact the Duncanville Environmental Office at 972-780-4963
with any questions or concerns.

From the Center for Disease Control

What Is West Nile Virus?

West Nile virus (WNV) is a potentially serious illness. Experts believe WNV
is established as a seasonal epidemic in North America that flares up in the
summer and continues into the fall. This fact sheet contains important information
that can help you recognize and prevent West Nile virus.

What Can I Do to Prevent WNV?

The easiest and best way to avoid WNV is to prevent mosquito bites.

  • When you are outdoors, use insect repellent containing an EPA-registered
    active ingredient
    . Follow the directions on the package.

    image from

  • Many mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn. Be sure to use insect
    repellent and wear long sleeves and pants at these times or consider staying
    indoors during these hours.
  • Make sure you have good screens on your windows and doors to keep mosquitoes
  • Get rid of mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from flower
    pots, buckets and barrels. Change the water in pet dishes and replace the
    water in bird baths weekly. Drill holes in tire swings so water drains out.
    Keep children’s wading pools empty and on their sides when they aren’t being

What Are the Symptoms of WNV?

  • Serious Symptoms in a Few People. About one in 150 people
    infected with WNV will develop severe illness. The severe symptoms can include
    high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors,
    convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. These
    symptoms may last several weeks, and neurological effects may be permanent.
  • Milder Symptoms in Some People. Up to 20 percent of the
    people who become infected have symptoms such as fever, headache, and body
    aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash
    on the chest, stomach and back. Symptoms can last for as short as a few
    days, though even healthy people have become sick for several weeks.
  • No
    Symptoms in Most People
    . Approximately 80 percent of people (about
    4 out of 5) who are infected with WNV will not show any symptoms at all.

How Does West Nile Virus Spread?

  • Infected Mosquitoes. Most often, WNV is spread by the
    bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed
    on infected birds. Infected mosquitoes can then spread WNV to humans and
    other animals when they bite.
  • Transfusions, Transplants, and Mother-to-Child. In a very
    small number of cases, WNV also has been spread through blood transfusions,
    organ transplants, breastfeeding and even during pregnancy from mother to
  • Not through touching. WNV is not spread through casual
    contact such as touching or kissing a person with the virus.

How Soon Do Infected People Get Sick?

People typically develop symptoms between 3 and 14 days after they are bitten
by the infected mosquito.

How Is WNV Infection Treated?

There is no specific treatment for WNV infection. In cases with milder symptoms,
people experience symptoms such as fever and aches that pass on their own, although
even healthy people have become sick for several weeks. In more severe cases,
people usually need to go to the hospital where they can receive supportive
treatment including intravenous fluids, help with breathing and nursing care.

What Should I Do if I Think I Have WNV?

Milder WNV illness improves on its own, and people do not necessarily need
to seek medical attention for this infection though they may choose to do so.
If you develop symptoms of severe WNV illness, such as unusually severe headaches
or confusion, seek medical attention immediately. Severe WNV illness usually
requires hospitalization. Pregnant women and nursing mothers are encouraged
to talk to their doctor if they develop symptoms that could be WNV.

What Is the Risk of Getting Sick from WNV?

People over 50 at higher risk to get severe illness. People over the age of 50 are more likely to develop serious symptoms of WNV if they do get sick and should take special care to avoid mosquito bites.

Being outside means you’re at risk. The more time you’re outdoors, the more time you could be bitten by an infected mosquito. Pay attention to avoiding mosquito bites if you spend a lot of time outside, either working or playing.

Risk through medical procedures is very low. All donated blood is checked for WNV before being used. The risk of getting WNV through blood transfusions and organ transplants is very small, and should not prevent people who need surgery from having it. If you have concerns, talk to your doctor.

Pregnancy and nursing do not increase risk of becoming infected with WNV.

The risk that WNV may present to a fetus or an infant infected through breastmilk is still being evaluated. Talk with your care provider if you have concerns.

What Is the CDC Doing About WNV?

CDC is working with state and local health departments, the Food and Drug Administration and other government agencies, as well as private industry, to prepare for and prevent new cases of WNV. Some things CDC is doing include:

  • Coordinating a nation-wide electronic database where states share information about WNV
  • Helping states develop and carry out improved mosquito prevention and control programs
  • Developing better, faster tests to detect and diagnose WNV
  • Creating new education tools and programs for the media, the public, and health professionals
  • Opening new testing laboratories for WNV
  • Working with partners on the development of vaccines

What Else Should I Know?

If you find a dead bird: Don’t handle the body with your bare hands. Contact your local health department for instructions on reporting and disposing of the body. They may tell you to dispose of the bird after they log your report.

2 Responses to Human Case of West Nile Disease Confirmed

  1. Why arent there any reports about the City taking action against West Nile? Where are they spraying at?

    Mike in Duncanville
    Sunday, July 29, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    • In the third paragraph of the article it says that Dallas County will be spraying in the next few days and that the City notified the residents in that area. Further spraying is not warranted at this time. Contact the City of Duncanville code enforcement for further details. Michael Plemons, Health Inspector & Code Officer gave a great presentation for the last council meeting and would be glad to talk to citizens about it.

      Sunday, July 29, 2012 at 7:09 pm