Two adults contract West Nile virus; one is hospitalized
WELD COUNTY, Colo. — West Nile virus (WNV) continues to pose a health risk to Weld County, Colorado residents. Currently an adult female from Greeley is recovering from WNV fever; and, an adult male from Windsor is hospitalized with neuro-invasive WNV — the most serious form of infection. Health officials are investigating two other potential cases. Last year, there were 27 human cases in Weld County. Mosquito trapping and testing will end for the season on Aug. 31, but the risk for human infection will continue until the first hard killing frost. “It’s hard to predict the weather, but we still have at least two months of WNV season,” said Mark E. Wallace, MD, MPH, executive director of the Weld County Health Department. “With many outdoor school events occurring in the evenings, the public still needs to prevent getting bit my mosquitoes.”
West Nile virus symptoms can appear three to 14 days after an infection. Initial symptoms can include fever, headache, nausea and vomiting, muscle aches and weakness and rash, but most infected people don’t exhibit any symptoms. If a person develops symptoms, he or she should see a doctor immediately. There are no medications to treat or vaccines to prevent West Nile virus infection, and less than 1 percent of infected people develop a serious, sometimes fatal, neurological illness.
Health officials recommend following the four “D’s” to prevent mosquito bites:
DRAIN standing water around your house weekly. Remember to drain water from tires, cans, flowerpots, clogged rain gutters, rain barrels, toys and puddles.
DUSK and DAWN are when mosquitoes are most active. Limit outdoor activities and take precautions to prevent mosquito bites during these times.
DEET is an effective ingredient to look for in insect repellents. Other repellents containing picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol are also be effective against mosquitoes. Always follow label instructions carefully.
DRESS in long sleeves and pants in areas where mosquitoes are active.
For more information about the preventing mosquito bites, visit: http://www.weldgov.com.
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