The West Nile virus claimed its first fatality in Dallas County this season, killing a woman in Irving.

Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) made the announcement on Wednesday, noting that the woman was a resident of the 75061 ZIP Code.

West Nile virus is the leading cause of mosquito-borne illness in the United States, with 20% of infected people developing a fever and other symptoms such as skin rash and disorientation. However, less than 1% of cases become serious or life-threatening. There is currently no vaccine for the disease.

DCHHS said the Irving woman’s death was the second logged in the state in 2023.

“It’s very sad to report the first West Nile Virus death [in Dallas County] this season,” said Dr. Philip Huang, director of DCHHS, according to a press release. “This again reminds us how important it is to protect against mosquito bites that can carry multiple diseases like [West Nile Virus].”

Huang noted that “[m]osquito activity remains high in Dallas County” and advised that residents abide by the “4 Ds” to protect themselves from infection, including using DEET or other EPA-approved repellants when outside, dressing in long and loose clothing, draining or treating standing water, and limiting outdoor activity around dusk and dawn.

As of August 8, there have been a total of 126 West Nile virus cases logged so far in 2023, out of which 89 were cases of West Nile virus neuroinvasive disease.

“Severe WNV infections can cause neurologic complications such as encephalitis,” reads the press release.

Arizona has the most active cases, with 54 identified by authorities. Texas came in second with 14, followed by Nebraska, California, and South Dakota, with 10, eight, and seven, respectively.

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, Dallas County only had five identified cases in late July, the bulk of the six documented in Texas at the time.