The Mesa County Health Department today is reporting the first lab-confirmed human case of West Nile Virus in a resident of Mesa County this year.
West Nile Virus is a mosquito-borne illness that can cause fever, headache, body aches, fatigue and, in severe cases, meningitis and encephalitis.
While about 80 percent of people who contract West Nile Virus do not develop symptoms, about 1 in 5 people do.
To protect yourself from West Nile Virus, prevent mosquito bites. Follow these tips:
- Use insect repellent with DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
- Dress in long sleeves and pants when in areas where mosquitoes are active.
- Drain standing water on your property.
- Stay indoors at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
The incubation period for West Nile Virus is about 5-7 days, which means it usually takes that long for symptoms to appear after a person is infected.
The infected Mesa County resident has a “non-neuroinvasive” form of the disease, which means meningitis and encephalitis are not concerns.
Last year, Mesa County had 11 human cases of West Nile Virus and one death. There is no treatment for the illness.
As of this morning, Colorado has five human cases of West Nile Virus this year, including the one in Mesa County.
For more information on West Nile Virus, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.