Media Contact: Sarah Gray 970-697-4611 email@example.com
Even though the cold and flu season is coming to an end, our team continues to monitor what is going around Mesa County during the spring and summer. There are several seasonal illnesses we can see in our region as people are spending more time outside.
“Our team cares about the health of the community year round,” said Rachel Burmeister, the Disease Surveillance and Emergency Response Manager. “Some of the more common illnesses that we see during the spring and the summer may be due to exposures that are associated with that time of year. For example recreating in water, eating foods that may not be kept cold, or coming into contact with animals that spread disease. Prevention is key when it comes to keeping people safe and healthy heading into summer.”
West Nile Virus
- What is it: West Nile Virus is spread to humans by mosquito bites. Many people who get the virus do not realize they have it;others can develop symptoms like fever, headache, body aches, or a rash. There is no treatment for West Nile Virus, so prevention is crucial. We work closely with the Grand River Mosquito Control District to monitor mosquito activity in our community. Most human cases of West Nile Virus are reported in August and September, when mosquito activity is at its peak. We expect there to be more mosquitos locally this year because of the wet winter.
- What are Local Trends: 2022 was a severe year for West Nile Virus in Colorado. Mesa County had four cases of the virus, however surrounding counties had the highest rates of West Nile Virus in the state. Statewide, 20 people died from the virus.
- What is it: This virus is carried primarily by deer mice, which can be found in Mesa County. People can get infected by inhaling airborne particles of the virus.
- What are Local Trends: This disease is rare, however, it can be dangerous for those who become infected. Between 1993 and 2021, there were 119 confirmed cases in Colorado. Out of these cases, 41 were fatal. During this same timeframe, there were three cases in Mesa County.
- What are they: In Colorado, animal bites are reportable because of the concern of people being exposed to rabies. Rabies is fatal once symptoms develop so people who are bitten by some wild animals should get a post-exposure vaccine.
- What are Local Trends: In Mesa County, the number of animal bites has increased over the past year. We work closely with Mesa County Animal Services to follow up on these reports when there is a concern of rabies exposure. Most bites involve cats or dogs, but we also get reports of people bitten by bats, raccoons, coyotes, and other wildlife.
With these seasonal illnesses, prevention is crucial. Visit our website to learn tips for staying safe and healthy.