GRAND PRAIRIE (CBSDFW.COM) - A third case of West Nile Virus has turned deadly in North Texas. The latest fatal case is in the 75050 area code in Grand Prairie. The other two fatalities attributed to the virus were in Highland Park and Dallas.
The most West Nile Virus deaths in Dallas County was back in 2006. There were four. North Texas is already at three and only half way through the season.
Bob Rowan is a 67-year-old Viet Nam Veteran. When he walks his dog outside his Dallas home, he is ready for combat.
The Dallas County Health Department wants him to be.
“When you step outside your door, you need to be armed for battle,” said Dr. Christopher Perkins. Perkins is the Medical Director for Dallas County Health and Human Services.
The health department wants to make sure you have the right gear.
“Insect repellent, appropriate clothing, loose fitting, long sleeves, long pants, light colored,” Dr. Perkins said.
Bob Rowan remembered the long sleeves when he went outside to walk “Lucky.”
“I just had a heart attack,” Rowan said.
His quadruple by-pass was in May. He knows he could be at risk if bitten by a mosquito with the West Nile Virus.
“It’s a lot worse than anything we’ve had in the past.
And, it really needs to be taken seriously,” Rowan said.
“We expect to see more deaths. We expect more human cases,” DCHHS Director, Zachary Thompson, said.
The Dallas County Health Department wants more equipment and ammo in their escalating fight against West Nile Virus.
Thompson said, “Based on what we’re seeing on the number of human cases then, I’m going to need state resources and federal resources.”
There are now 82 West Nile Virus human cases in Dallas County. Of those, 65 are the Neuro Invasive or more serious kind.
There have been deaths in Dallas, Highland Park and now Grand Prairie – a 43-year old woman with underlying health issues.
Zachary Thompson wants everyone to know we are all at war.
“The most important element in all this is Dallas County residents. They have to mosquito proof their home, their selves and our neighborhoods,” he said.
The health department is also asking code compliance to step up enforcement at foreclosed houses and abandoned homes where pools have been left with standing water.