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Third Travis County West Nile Death Confirmed

Another Central Texan has passed away from West Nile disease, bringing the total of deaths in Travis County to three. 

The Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department says this afternoon that after a two-week hospitalization, an unidentified individual passed away from West Nile neuroinvasive disease.

As KUT Newshas previously reported, while there is only one form of West Nile virus, there’s two forms of illness:

One is West Nile fever, a passing, flu-like illness. (The majority of West Nile cases have been just those.) But those with compromised immune systems may be susceptible to a stronger form of the illness – West Nile neuroinvasive disease, which can be deadly. 

Health & Human Services says the average age of the three victims is 79. Travis County has seen 56 confirmed cases of West Nile virus, including the three deaths. 

One in four mosquitoes tested by the county has come back positive for West Nile. Officials are urging anyone outdoors to protect themselves by adhering to the "4 D’s":

  • Deet - Use this type of bug repellant on skin and clothes.
  • Drain standing water - It only takes a teaspoon of water for mosquitoes to lay their eggs.
  • Dress - Wear long sleeves and long pants.
  • Dusk and dawn - Avoid mosquitoes most active hours. 
Wells has been a part of KUT News since 2012, when he was hired as the station's first online reporter. He's currently the social media host and producer for Texas Standard, KUT's flagship news program. In between those gigs, he served as online editor for KUT, covering news in Austin, Central Texas and beyond.
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