Health officials report first 2018 West Nile related death in Harris County

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Friday, September 21, 2018
Harris County reports first West Nile death of the year
Harris County reports first West Nile death of the year

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Health officials say a man has died after contracting the West Nile virus in Harris County.

The 45-year-old man from southwest Houston reportedly had an underlying chronic health condition.

In a press release, officials said that this is the first West Nile-associated death in Harris County and the state of Texas for 2018.

"We are devastated to report the first West Nile virus-associated death, and our hearts go out to the family. Mosquitoes can spread a variety of diseases and those who are most vulnerable; children, aging and immunosuppressed individuals, are at a higher risk of dying of mosquito-borne diseases," stated Umair A. Shah, MD, MPH, executive director of HCPH. "We conduct mosquito surveillance year-round and actively work on protecting our residents from diseases transmitted by mosquitoes, but we simply cannot do it alone. Continuously, we ask our residents to partner with us by reducing mosquito-breeding sites and protect themselves from getting bitten by mosquitoes."

As of Thursday, the county said 303 mosquito samples have tested positive for the virus.

The areas where those samples have been detected have been sprayed to reduce the risk of the disease, according to health officials.

This year, a total of six human cases have been confirmed in Harris County and the City of Houston.

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