Mead Resident First in Colorado This Year Diagnosed with West Nile Virus
A Mead resident has been hospitalized with neuro-invasive West Nile virus, according to a news release from the Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment.
Test results on Thursday confirmed the illness is West Nile virus. This is the first human case of West Nile virus in Colorado for the 2018 mosquito season, according to the release.
The resident, an adult who is not being identified by officials, fell ill on July 27 and was hospitalized the next day. According to the release, neuro-invasive West Nile virus is the most serious form of the illness, which is transmitted to people by mosquito bites.
Symptoms of the disease can appear three to 14 days after an infection, and include fever, headache, nausea, muscle aches, weakness and a rash. However, most infected people don’t exhibit any symptoms, according to the release.
If a person does develop symptoms, he or she should seek treatment immediately. There is no cure or vaccine for West Nile virus.
Less than 1 percent of those infected develop the more serious — and sometimes fatal — neuro-invasive illness.
Mosquito traps in Weld County found that the human risk for West Nile virus infection is still low, according to the release, although the risk is likely to increase in the next few weeks.
“The recent wet and increasing hot weather has created the perfect conditions for the Culex mosquito that carries West Nile virus,” said Mark Wallace, executive director of the Weld County Health Department, in the release. “It’s extremely important to avoid getting bit by mosquitoes.”
Health officials recommend that people drain standing water near their homes, limit time outdoors at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are so active, use DEET to repel the insects, and wear long sleeves and pants in areas where mosquitoes are active.
Madeline St. Amour: 303-684-5212, firstname.lastname@example.org