West Nile virus

West Nile virus cases are starting to rise in Delta County. 

By Staff report

Three new human cases of West Nile virus brings the total human cases in Delta County to 10, according to the Delta County Department of Health.

The three new cases occurred in: A man in his 60s from the North Fork area; a man in his 40s from the North Fork area; and a man in his 60s from the Delta area.

The presence of positive samples of mosquitoes is a clear indication that West Nile virus remains present and poses a risk to those who are bitten. Residents should remember that COVID-19 is still circulating in the community and some symptoms appear similar to West Nile. Cases can continue to occur through September, the time when most human cases of West Nile virus have been reported in Colorado.

“West Nile virus can be a serious illness and residents should understand the health risks associated with this virus” said Delta County Environmental Health Director Ken Nordstrom in a news release.

Health officials say most people bitten by a West Nile virus infected mosquito show no symptoms of illness; however, some people may develop symptoms three to 15 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. About one in five infected persons will have mild illness with fever, and about one in 150 infected people will become severely ill.

Physicians are urged to test patients for the West Nile virus if they show signs of fever, altered mental status, suspected meningitis or encephalitis, or sudden painless paralysis in the absence of stroke, in the summer months.

The health department strongly urges the public to take precautions and take preventative measures against being bitten by mosquitoes and becoming infected with the virus. If you begin feeling sick, contact your doctor immediately for diagnosis and treatment.

The following prevention tips are encouraged:

● Drain standing water on property.

● Dusk and dawn — avoid being outdoors at this time when mosquito activity is high.

● DEET, Picaridin, and oil of lemon eucalyptus are effective ingredients in bug repellent.

● Dress in long sleeves and pants during dusk and dawn and in areas where mosquitoes are active.

● Screen windows and doors of your home to keep the mosquitoes out.

For more information: www.fightthebitecolorado.com or the Colorado Health Emergency Line for the Public (CO HELP): 1-877-462-2911. You can also visit the CDC West Nile Prevention Page: cdc.gov/westnile/prevention/index.html

Load comments