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Dallas County Confirms 20th West Nile Virus Death From 2012 Season

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DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – The number of deaths from last year’s record breaking West Nile season continues to grow.

Dallas County Health and Human Services has confirmed another person, who contracted the disease last year, died last month.

The patient, who was in their 70s, lived in Northeast Dallas, in the the 75214 zip code, which is bordered on the east by White Rock Lake. DCHHS does not provide any additional identifying information for privacy reasons.

At the end of April, Dallas kicked off an aggressive plant to fight the virus that sickened hundreds and caught the city off guard last year.

This year the city is increasing efforts to stop the virus by using three times as many mosquito traps, paying extra for lab results to be returned faster, and by adding an additional pesticide spraying truck.

The City of Dallas said it will also be responding to calls of standing water within 24 hours. In 2012, such complaints were responded to within 10 days.

The city is also managing an educational campaign with public service announcements, signs, billboards, and brochures advising residents to be aware of the dangers of standing water.

In Tarrant County, more than 200 mosquito traps have been set and the county has already begun testing samples for West Nile Virus.

Additional staff and equipment have been added to increase mosquito testing and the health department is also reaching residents through online newspaper advertisements, theater ads and billboards.

Leaders from Dallas, Tarrant, Collin and Denton counties are also collaborating for the first time to share strategies and collaborate efforts to fight the disease.

Health officials are urging North Texans to remember the five D’s when it comes to controlling the presence of mosquitoes.

  • DRAIN—all areas of standing water including changing water in wading pools, birdbaths, and cleaning out gutters;
  • DEET—Use bug spray and protect clothing with repellents containing permethrin or DEET;
  • DRESS—Dress in light- colored clothing with long sleeves and wear long pants;
  • DUSK/DAWN—Limit outdoor exposure at dusk and dawn;
  • DOORS—Keep door and window screens in good repair

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