EL PASO – With less than two months before the year ends, national and local health authorities are still treating cases of people with West Nile virus mosquito bites. A record number of cases has been reported making 2012 the worst year in history since 2003, confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Texas leads outbreak with more than a third of the total cases reported in the country – 1,754 of 5,054, according to CDC.
On a media briefing held by U.S. health officials in Houston in early September, David Lakey, commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services declared this year as the worst in the state of Texas for West Nile.
In the Southwest, those identified with West Nile virus live in eight different zip code areas of El Paso county. The majority of these people contracted the virus in areas near or at their houses located in the lower valley of the city. Women and men infected with the virus are between 41 and 80 years old, according to statistics gathered by the Texas Department of Health Services. Health authorities confirmed these age groups have been more affected statewide but anyone is vulnerable to get infected with the virus.
Even though health officials from CDC estimate that about 85 percent of the people infected never develop symptoms, they recommend the following precautions:
• Wear insect repellent
• Dress with long sleeves
• Drain standing water