Baylor Scott & White Health Media Relations
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Dallas, TX 75201


West Nile in North Texas: What you need to know

As of Monday August 6, more than 300 people have been diagnosed with West Nile disease in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, according to the Dallas County Department of Health and Human Services. Of those, there have been seven deaths, the most North Texas has ever seen. Local experts predict there will be even more.

Why is West Nile virus so deadly this year? Should you be concerned? More importantly, what can you do to prevent being infected?

To answer these and many other questions, Baylor Health Care System hosted a Google+ Hangout On Air with Dallas County health officials and various specialists on the medical staffs at Baylor hospitals.

When: Wednesday, August 1 at 9am CST

Where: You can watch the On-Air Hangout live online by visiting our page on Google+.

Participants Include:

  • Janet St. James, local Medical reporter with WFAA-TV, Channel 8 (Bio)
  • William Sutker, M.D., chief of infectious disease, Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas
  • Charles Perkins, D.O., medical director, Dallas County Department of Health and Human Services
  • Roger Khetan, M.D., Internal Medicine physician on the medical staff at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas

Submit Your Questions:
Viewers can submit questions ahead of time on the Baylor Health Care System Facebook page or by tweeting us at @BaylorHealth.

**Couldn't make the live Hangout? The entire broadcast will be archived on our YouTube channel to watch on-demand after it airs.

West Nile 101

Fight the Bites – Use the 4 "Ds" to Defend Yourself against West Nile Virus:

[Infographic] West Nile: Myth v. Fact

[Quiz] Are You Protecting Yourself Against Mosquitoes? Quiz Yourself on the West Nile Virus

West Nile In the News

Q&A About West Nile Virus
KRLD NewsRadio 1080

August 24, 2012 – The West Nile Virus has been in the headlines for the last week and a half. The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex has been the epicenter for the recent outbreak with more than half of the cases here in North Texas. KRLD’s medical expert Dr. David Winter with Baylor Health Care system answers some important medical questions about this disease. Listen to Podcast

In Texas, more than half of all West Nile cases
NBC Nightly News

August 24, 2012 –The federal government says the current outbreak of West Nile is the largest in history. The virus, spread by infected mosquitoes, has never spread across the country this far this fast. And more than half are in Texas were the death toll continues to rise. Baylor West Nile patient Domingo Villa was profiled in a story that ran on NBC Nightly News and more than a dozen other NBC affiliates.
Watch Video

West Nile Virus: 47 States Exposed
ABC World News with Diane Sawyer

August 23, 2012 – In this latest West Nile outbreak nearly half the cases are here in Texas. That’s where Claire McCall contracted West Nile back in 2008 and years later can no longer work full time. McCall is one of few, less than 1%, that has the type of illness that makes headlines. Sixty percent of people with the most severe cases will still suffer symptoms 5 years later. Dr. Cedric Spak, infectious disease specialist at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas, talks about those lasting effects. Watch Video

Mosquitoes Suck! Why they bite some people more than others
KDAF – TV (CW33)

August 20, 2012 – Phillip Disraeli is a family practice doctor at Baylor-Carrollton. Dr. Disraeli said researchers are getting to the bottom of what drives mosquitoes crazy. "Lactic acid, cholesterol on your skin and other things that attract mosquitoes,” Dr. Disraeli said. “We haven't been able to identify them yet and once we do I think we'll be able to focus more of our prevention at those things." Watch Video

Texas sprays for West Nile Virus
CBS Evening News (National)

August 17, 2012 – An outbreak of the West Nile Virus in North Texas has prompted the first aerial pesticide spraying in the area since the 1960's. Manuel Bojorquez reported from the hot zone of the outbreak and interviewed a patient at Baylor-Garland who has been hospitalized with West Nile for 5 weeks. He also talked to Dr. Bryan Wasson with Baylor-Irving about how patients who contract the disease are treated. Watch Video

Dallas-area Man Shares Struggle with West Nile Virus
The Dallas Morning News

August 13, 2012 – The extended Fields family, like many others in Dallas County, hadn’t taken much notice of the West Nile outbreak that began unfolding here in late May. While health officials were issuing dire warnings about infected mosquitoes spreading the virus, many people were probably too busy with summer activities, including July Fourth celebrations, to begin using insect repellent. In hopes that others could learn from their experience, Fields, who hospitalized at Baylor Garland, and his family agreed to share what happened when West Nile struck earlier this summer. Read Article

A West Nile Experience: Up Close and Personal
The Dallas Morning News Health blog

August 7, 2012 – It is official; the West Nile Virus has hit our neighborhood. The epidemics never really seem real until they affect you personally. Our Dallas county medical director has rated this epidemic a “9 out of 10” according to WFAA Channel 8 this morning, and this afternoon, WBAP 820am reported the 8th death from West Nile in Dallas County this year. Read Blog

West Nile Advice for Pregnant Moms

August 3, 2012 – There are precautions that moms or moms-to-be can take to prevent passing along the West Nile virus to their babies. If you’re pregnant or nursing a baby, OB/GYN Julia Flowers, M.D., Baylor Grapevine, offers advice to these moms. Watch Video

Dallas man still feels West Nile effects 10 years later
WFAA-TV (Channel 8)

July 31, 2012 – For people who survive West Nile Virus, the effects can sometimes remain years later. In this story, WFAA's Jonathan Betz explains that seizures are among several of the lingering effects of the West Nile virus that one teenager contracted 10 years ago. Dr. William Sutker, chief of Infectious Disease at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas, is interviewed in this story. Watch Video

West Nile Watch 2012 - Stay Informed
July 27, 2012 – The "West Nile Watch" is a Dallas County digital publication that is produced during the season which contains up-to-date information on infected mosquito pools, control efforts and prevention tips. Read Current Issue

Why Is West Nile So Bad This Year?
WFAA-TV (Channel 8)

July 24, 2012 – This could be the worst West Nile season we’ve ever seen in North Texas. A mild winter, along with a healthy bird population that transfers West Nile to feeding mosquitoes, has boosted the insect's population. Dr. Cedric Spak, an Infectious Disease specialist on staff at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas, is currently treating several hospitalized patients, and tells Channel 8 he is concerned about this sudden epidemic. Watch Video

What exactly is ‘West Nile Virus’?
KRLD NewsRadio1080

July 12, 2012 – Besides suffocating heat, summer in Texas also brings mosquitoes. Some are more than a nuisance, they are downright dangerous if they are carrying the West Nile virus. A new discovery about the virus may have brought researchers one step closer to ending the threat. KRLD’s medical expert Dr. David Winter with Baylor Health Care System explains. Listen to Interview

Not All West Nile Virus Infections Are the Same

June 27, 2012 – Dr. Cedric Spak, an infectious disease specialist on staff at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas, was interviewed for this news story on West Nile Virus. He explained symptoms and how to avoid mosquito bites. Watch Video

West Nile Virus in Your Backyard
Dallas Morning News Health blog

June 18, 2012 – West Nile Virus (WNV) is a seasonal virus that has become more commonplace in this part of the country, writes health blogger Dr. Jane Sadler. Most people recover quickly, but 20% who become infected have symptoms of fever, headache and body aches, nausea and vomiting. Read Blog

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