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3rd West Nile Death Confirmed In Travis County

Updated: Friday, September 7 2012, 04:30 PM CDT

A third Travis County resident has died from West Nile Virus, according to county health officials.

Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services confirmed the death from West Nile Neuroinvasive disease on Friday.

It is not releasing information about the person who died other than he or she had been hospitalized for over 2 weeks and was more than 50 years old, which matches the Centers of Disease Control profile for those at highest risk of severe illness.

The first West Nile Virus death for Travis County this year was announced in July, the second was earlier this week. These deaths are the first from West Nile Virus for the county since 2003 when two persons died.

As of Friday, there are 56 confirmed human cases of West Nile Virus in Travis County including the three deaths. Of those 56 human cases, only 26 percent used insect repellent, according to county health officials.

The average age of those who have died is 79 years old.

County officials are urging everyone to get rid of any standing water on their property that could be used as a breeding ground for mosquitoes and comply with the four D’s.”

Those are:

  • Dusk and Dawn: Stay indoors during dusk and dawn. That’s the time when mosquitoes likely to carry the infection are most active.
  • Dress: Wear pants and long sleeves when you are outside, especially in mosquito-infested areas.
  • DEET: Apply insect repellent that contains DEET. Read and follow label instructions. Spray both exposed skin and clothing with repellent.
  • Drain: Get rid of standing water in your yard and neighborhood. Old tires, flowerpots, clogged rain gutters leaky pipes and faucets, birdbaths and wading pools can be breeding sites for mosquitoes.
About 80 percent of those infected with West Nile Virus show no symptoms.

About one in 150 people infected with WNV will develop severe illness. The severe symptoms can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. These symptoms may last several weeks, and neurological effects may be permanent. Symptoms can last for as short as a few days, though even healthy people have become sick for several weeks.

Additional information
Travis County Mosquito virus: West Nile Death Confirmed In Travis County

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