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West Nile numbers continue to increase

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West Nile Virus cases continue to be reported to the Delta County Health Department. There have been eight confirmed human cases so far this season in Delta County. All cases are residents from the North Fork region of Delta County. The latest case was reported on Sept. 20. This person is a 60- to 69-year-old who experienced an onset of symptoms on Sept. 8 and was diagnosed with West Nile Virus uncomplicated fever.

"We want to continue to remind people that West Nile Virus can be a serious illness and it can be prevented by protecting oneself from mosquito bites," said Delta County environmental health director Ken Nordstrom. "Mosquitoes are still active in September and human cases of West Nile virus continue to be reported. The threat of getting the disease remains high until the first hard killing frost. Don't let your guard down and protect yourself from mosquito bites."

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 to 15 days after being bit 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.

Fight the bite! Take preventative measures against the virus. The 4Ds are:

• 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.

For more information, visit www.fightthebitecolorado.com.

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