West Nile kills one in Titus County

Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - 12:35pm

The state health department on Monday reported a Titus County resident has died of West Nile neuroinvasive disease — the sole fatality in Texas contributed to the mosquito-borne illness since Friday, the last day statistics were released by the Texas Department of State Health Services.

The latest East Texas death brings the state death toll from West Nile illnesses to 58.

There have been no new cases of West Nile fever or West Nile neuroinvasive disease reported in any East Texas counties since Friday.

The state health department on Monday reported 1,276 cases of West Nile disease — up 38 cases since Friday, including 21 new cases of West Nile fever and 17 new cases of West Nile neuroinvasive disease.

Though there was a death in Titus County, overall the numbers are beginning to slow.

The slowing rates, combined with cooler temperatures, has the city of Longview’s Environmental Health Supervisor Buck Farrar cautiously optimistic that the season for illness is nearing an end.

“I would suspect that our mosquito problem is beginning to dissipate,” Farrar said.

While the number of cases recorded by the state health continue to rise, Farrar said the state’s data reflects a lag time. Those cases, he said, can be from people bitten by West Nile-carrying mosquitoes up to a month ago.

Since Friday, Farrar’s office has not been notified of any new cases in the area, he said.

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