Tuesday, October 21, 2014

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Austin

Third West Nile death confirmed in Travis County

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A third person has died from the West Nile Virus in Travis County, according to health officials.

The person who died matched the Center for Disease Control’s profile for the highest risk for the disease, which is over 50 years of age. The patient was in the hospital for more than two weeks.

As of Friday, there are 56 confirmed cases of West Nile in Travis County, and of those, only 26 percent of patients used insect repellant, according to Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services.

The average age of patients who died is 79. Health officials urge the elderly community and people with immune deficiencies to use use extreme caution when outside, and always wear insect repellent.

Symptoms of the disease include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, vision loss, muscle weakness, numbness, convulsions and paralysis, according to Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services.

To report a mosquito problem call the HHSD Rodent and Vector Control program at (512) 978-0370. Click here for more information about the city’s mosquito surveillance and prevention.

The four D's to prevent West Nile:

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.

Information from Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services.

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