The Delta County Department of Health is reporting a second and third human case of West Nile virus. Furthermore, four of ten mosquito samples collected from the City of Delta on August 13th have tested positive for West Nile virus.
The three human cases are as follows:
• The first case is a female from the North Fork region of the county, diagnosed on August 9th, and is recovering from West Nile virus uncomplicated fever.
• The second case is a male from the North Fork region of the county, diagnosed on August 16th,and is recovering from West Nile virus encephalitis.
• The third case is a male from Delta, diagnosed on August 16th, and is recovering from West Nile virus uncomplicated fever.
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. August through September are 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.
Health officials say most people bitten by a West Nile virus infected mosquito show no symptoms of illness; however, some people may develop symptoms 3 to15 days after being bit by an infected mosquito. About 1-in-5 infected persons will have mild illness with fever, and about 1-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.
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 is an effective ingredient to look for 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.