Mosquito samples collected in Irving have tested positive for the West Nile Virus (WNV), raising concerns for public health in the area. The Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) confirmed that a total of four pools of mosquito traps in Irving's zip codes 75060, 75061, 75062, and 75038 have tested positive for the virus.
This announcement comes after the first human case of West Nile Virus was reported in Dallas County on July 10, 2023. The infected individual, a male resident, was diagnosed with West Nile Neuroinvasive Disease, a severe form of the virus that affects the nervous system.
On July 21, 2023, DCHHS reported the second human case of West Nile Virus in Dallas County for the year 2023. The patient, a female resident of Dallas, was diagnosed with West Nile Non-Neuroinvasive Disease (WNND), a milder form of the illness with symptoms like fever, headache, and muscle aches.
Dr. Philip Huang, Director of DCHHS, expressed his concerns about the ongoing mosquito activity in Dallas County. He emphasized that West Nile Virus is primarily transmitted to humans through the bite of infected mosquitoes and advised people to exercise caution when engaging in outdoor activities.
To protect themselves from mosquito bites, Dr. Huang urged residents to follow the "4 Ds":
Deet: Use insect repellents containing DEET or other EPA-approved repellents and follow the instructions on the label.
Dress: Wear long, loose, and light-colored clothing when outdoors, as mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors.
Drain: Eliminate or treat all standing water in and around homes or workplaces where mosquitoes can lay eggs.
Dawn to Dusk: Limit outdoor activities during the early morning and evening hours when mosquitoes are most active.
West Nile Virus is transmitted when mosquitoes feed on infected birds and subsequently pass the virus on to humans and animals through their bites. While milder cases can cause flu-like symptoms, severe infections can lead to neurologic complications like encephalitis. Currently, there is no specific vaccine or treatment for West Nile Virus.
Despite the detection of West Nile Virus in mosquito samples in Irving, there has been no announcement regarding ground spraying in the area yet.