Tarrant County reports its 10th death from West Nile virus
Tarrant County health officials said today that a 10th person has died from West Nile virus.
In a brief news release, the victim was identified only as “an Arlington resident in his 70s with underlying medical conditions.”
In Dallas County, the mosquito-borne virus has claimed 18 lives, according to health officials.
Anyone can get sick if bitten by a mosquito carrying the virus, but those most at risk of developing severe, even fatal, symptoms are older people already in poor health. Those symptoms include high fever, intense headaches, muscle or joint pain, sore eyes, fatigue, nausea, and breathing difficulties.
As Staff Writer Sherry Jacobson reported last week
, health officials now estimate the West Nile virus has infected more than 80,000 residents in Dallas, Tarrant, Denton and Collin counties.
While Dallas County has confirmed a greater number of severe cases than Tarrant County, she wrote, “government estimates suggest it was Tarrant County that experienced a much larger West Nile outbreak. … Based on newly released estimates, Tarrant County appears to have underreported its serious, or neuroinvasive cases. The actual number of cases could have been nearly three times as high as the number reported.”
One indicator of underreporting: This summer, more blood donors were found to be infected in Tarrant County than anywhere else in the state: Thirty as of Aug. 25, compared with 13 from Dallas County, six from Denton, and five from Collin.
Projections from those donor numbers suggest that Tarrant had as many as 281 neuroinvasive cases. But as of last week, only 96 were reported.
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