Published Date: 2012-09-08 02:44:07
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> West Nile virus - USA (14): Mexico border
Archive Number: 20120908.1285815
WEST NILE VIRUS - USA (14): MEXICO BORDER
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Fri 7 Sep 2012
Source: Norte [in Spanish, trans. Mod.TY, edited]
The 2nd West Nile virus [WNV] death occurred yesterday [6 Sep 2012] in El Paso, Texas, and the number of infected people increased to 16, whereas in Ciudad Juarez [immediately across the border in Mexico], only suspected cases of this viral disease have occurred, the Departments of Health in both cities stated.
The person who died after being infected by a mosquito carrying the virus was a 75-year-old man who lived east of the neighboring city [El Paso].
Hector Puertas Rincones, Director of Health Jurisdiction II, reported that although there are 40 suspected cases [of WNV infection] in Ciudad Juarez, none of them have been confirmed as having the infection. "We already sent samples to the regional laboratory; half were negative [for WNV infection], and we are waiting for the results on the rest," he said.
Michael Hill, Director of the El Paso Health Department, commented that the mosquitoes do not need large amounts of water in order to reproduce, so recent light rains that fell yesterday [6 Sep 2012] favor breeding. He indicated that it is necessary to clean up gardens, water sources, and catchments that can retain water around yards and on porches, since the mosquitoes only need water equivalent to a cup in order to breed. He said that the number of cases in this border city is worrying, so preventive measures must be maintained.
Statistics from the El Paso Health Department show that this summer , 16 cases of people infected with West Nile virus and one death have occurred, while in 2011, there were 7 infections, and one man died.
In Ciudad Juarez, the disease has been stable with no reports of people infected in 2011 nor in 2012 so far.
In addition to maintaining yards and porches free of water catchments, other preventive measures include the use of repellants, the avoidance of activities at night during mosquito activity, covering the body, carrying out activities in open air, and avoiding watering gardens.
The symptoms of West Nile [infection] are high fever, vomiting, abdominal pain, headache, and stiff neck. These symptoms can be confused with other diseases, so in case anyone presents with them, they should go to a physician for evaluation.
[Byline: Nancy Gonzalez Soto]
ProMED-mail from HealthMap Alerts
[It will be interesting to learn the results of the remaining samples from Ciudad Juarez that are being tested for WNV infection. It certainly would not be surprising if cases of WNV infection occur in Cuidad Juarez, as it is immediately across the border from El Paso, and there are no barriers that would prevent the crossing of infected birds and mosquitoes. - Mod.TY
A HealthMap/ProMED-mail map can be accessed at: http://healthmap.org/r/1wvK.]