Dr. Hector Ocaranza of the City-County Health Authority is warning El Pasoans that a summertime pest is still passing along a potentially fatal infection.

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And, he has advice on how to avoid contracting the disease.

The El Paso Department of Health just confirmed its FOURTH case of Neuroinvasive West Nile Virus. A female resident in her sixties is the latest El Pasoan to be confirmed as having contracted the virus.

The woman reportedly has several underlying health conditions and is currently being treated in the hospital.

DrOcaranza (I’m still trying to get the “Doc Oc” nickname to stick) explains the seriousness of the disease which is USUALLY passed to humans by mosquitos. Dr. O. says the disease is, “extremely dangerous and can lead to…complications, disability or even death”.

With recent rains in the region and temperatures still in the 80s and 90s, there are precautionary steps you can take to protect yourself from the infernal little bloodsuckers.

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DrOcaranza recommends remembering “the four Ds”.

DEET:  use insect repellents that contain DEET when outdoors.

DRESS: Wear long pants, socks, and long-sleeved shirts when outside.

DUSK and DAWN: the times when mosquitos are most active.

DRAIN: Mosquitos love standing water almost as much as they love your delectable, live-giving blood. “Tip and toss” any standing water outside.

West Nile Virus infection doesn’t always result in symptoms. But, 1 in 5 people who are infected will develop WN fever. About 1 in 150 people will develop severe symptoms. As usual, folks with other health conditions and/or weakened immune systems are the most vulnerable.

I’ll add one more “D” to the list: DOC OC! Listen to this man, people!

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