West Nile virus

West Nile virus cases are on the rise. Delta Memorial Hospital is prepared for such cases.

The Delta County Department of Health is reporting the first human case of West Nile virus. This case is a resident from the Cedaredge region of the county.

The first case is a 67-year-old male reported positive on Aug. 11.

Residents should remember that COVID-19 is currently increasing in the community and some symptoms appear similar to West Nile, but that 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. "We continue to see mosquitoes collected from the Delta area testing positive for West Nile Virus. There continues to be a large amount of virus circulating in the valley this year. So, protect yourself from being bitten by a mosquito!”

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 public is encouraged to take preventative measures against the virus. The following prevention tips are encouraged: drain standing water on property, avoid being outdoors at dusk and dawn when mosquito activity is high, use DEET, Picaridin, and Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus as they are effective ingredients in bug repellent, dress in long sleeves and pants during dusk and dawn and in areas where mosquitoes are active and keep open windows tightly screened.

For more information visit fightthebitecolorado.com or call 1-877-462-2911.

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