mosquito

West Nile virus continues to make its presence known in Delta County, where 12 cases have been reported to the department of health there. Nine mosquito samples from within the city of Delta have also tested positive. The virus is spread by the culex species of mosquito, which can pick it up from infected birds and transmit it to humans.

Case numbers for Montrose County were not immediately available.

Delta County’s 12 human cases are:

• The first case is a female from the North Fork region of the county, diagnosed Aug. 9; she is recovering from West Nile virus uncomplicated fever.

• The second case is a male from the North Fork region of the county, diagnosed Aug. 16; he is recovering from West Nile virus encephalitis.

• The third case is a male from Delta, diagnosed Aug. 16; he is recovering from West Nile virus uncomplicated fever.

• The fourth case is a male from the North Fork region of the county, diagnosed on Aug. 19; he is recovering from West Nile virus encephalitis.

• The fifth case is a male from the Surface Creek region of the county, diagnosed Aug. 23; he is recovering from West Nile uncomplicated fever.

• The sixth case is a female from Delta, diagnosed Aug. 27; she is recovering from

West Nile virus meningitis.

• The seventh case is a female from the Surface Creek region of the county, diagnosed Aug. 27; she is recovering from West Nile virus meningitis.

• The eighth case is a male from the North Fork region of the county, diagnosed Aug. 29; he is recovering from West Nile virus uncomplicated fever.

• The ninth case is a male from the Surface Creek region of the county, diagnosed Sept. 5; he is recovering from West Nile virus encephalitis.

• The 10th case is a male from the North Fork region of the county, diagnosed Sept. 6; he is recovering from West Nile virus uncomplicated fever.

• The 11th case is a female from the North Fork region of the county, Sept. 9; she is recovering from West Nile virus uncomplicated fever.

• The 12th case is a female from the Surface Creek region of the county, diagnosed Sept. 9; she 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, Delta County Health Department said in a news release announcing the latest case count. 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 three to15 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.

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.

For more information: www.fightthebitecolorado.com; Phone: 1-877-462-2911.

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