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DCHHS Confirms: Dallas County Man Contracts West Nile Fever

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DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) - The city of Dallas records its first human case of the West Nile Virus this season. The patient lives in the 75217 zip code, in the southeast section of Dallas.

Pemberton Park is located in the middle of the affected zip code. While the man who contracted the virus lives there, mosquito traps in the area haven't tested positive. With mixed signals, adults are taking precautions for themselves and young ones.

Amid the excitement and celebration of a birthday party for a 2-year-old, Gerald Johnson takes time to be careful with this grandchildren when it comes to mosquitoes and West Nile. "Lotion them real good with Deep Woods OFF and a little sun lotion, so they won't get burnt," he said.

Because no mosquito traps in the area tested positive, city officials believe the victim was likely bitten somewhere else. Jennifer Stegall's not taking that for granted. "We stay in the house most of the day. Q: You're out here now, though? A: Yeah, we're enjoying it today but we stay in the house most of the time."

City officials tell CBS 11 News the recent floods have had a mixed effect on mosquitoes. Flood waters may have washed away traditionally stagnant pools, but excess water is left standing near river bottoms or in back yards of homes where mosquitoes can breed.

"I think they just love to bite me," said Regina Suttle. The Trinity plays a role at the nearby Bon-Ton Farms, just across the zip code, according to Suttle who lives near Bon-Ton and manages the farm program. "I think it is because the Trinity is right over here but I carry OFF in my car and in my purse. Then we try to have it down here at the farm everywhere."

Both workers and volunteers spray down. Protection from West Nile is one of many precautions taken for girls from the Hockaday School in Dallas. Laura Day, who was chaperoned the group who stopped in the area to help out. "And so we did take that into consideration; they've sprayed with OFF before and after, and they've been pretty vigilant. Ideally we've only seen flies, there haven't been any mosquitoes so I think we're alright."

The human case in Dallas County was West Nile Fever, not the more serious neuro-invasive illness and the man was not hospitalized, according to Dallas officials. The city will not be spraying in the area because no mosquito traps tested positive.

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