Elderly man, first victim of West Nile in Hidalgo County

Hidalgo County health leaders confirmed the first case of West Nile in humans in Hidalgo County.

At a press conference Saturday morning, Health Director Eddie Olivarez said the first victim was an elderly man living in the northern part of the county.

Olivarez refused to go into further details of the first human transmission of the virus in the county, citing HIPAA rules.

However, Dr. Brian Smith with the Texas Commission on Health and Human Services added that the elderly man is in good health.

Dr. Smith added that no other reported cases of West Nile infections in the Valley tested positive for the mosquito-born illness.

During the press conference, Olivarez said the county has been working for the past four weeks with governments at the local and county level, as well as with school and community groups to coordinate efforts to stem the mosquito population.

Cities such as McAllen and Edinburg began spraying their neighborhoods as early as Thursday.

Hidalgo County has also began spraying certain areas of the county, specifically those with high concentrations of mosquitoes, however Olivarez said that the mosquito count throughout the county is relatively low.

County leaders urged residents to assist them by following four rules: avoid outdoor activity at dusk or dawn; dress in loose, covered clothing; use insect repellants with DEET; and drain any standing water in their homes.