What’s Going Around Mesa County
Follow trends for seasonal illnesses and how to prevent them.
Your local epidemiology team cares about your health. They study the causes of illness and injury in Mesa County.
Visit this page to see what seasonal illnesses are going around – and how to prevent them.
Diseases in the News
There is an increase of syphilis cases in Mesa County. It’s easily treatable. Our Public Health Clinic provides low-cost testing and treatment.
Mosquitoes from two trap locations in Fruita and Grand Junction have tested positive for West Nile virus.
West Nile Virus
West Nile Virus (WNV) is spread to humans by mosquito bites and is the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in the continental United States.
Many people who get WNV will never even know that they had it. However, others will develop symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. Some people develop severe disease causing inflammation of the brain and spinal cord. People who develop severe disease may die or have permanent disability.
There is no treatment for West Nile virus, so prevention is key. This is the time of year when mosquito activity typically peaks, so it’s important for residents to take precautions.
Increased outdoor activity can lead to increased exposure to mosquito bites so take some easy steps to protect yourself:
- Use an EPA-approved insect repellent effective against mosquitoes. Look for one that contains DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, 2-undecanone, or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
- Dress in long sleeves and pants when in areas where mosquitoes are active.
- Avoid being outdoors at dusk and dawn; this is when mosquitoes are most active.
- Drain and remove sources of standing water on your property.
2022 was a severe year for West Nile Virus in Colorado.
- Twenty people died statewide.
- Mesa county had four cases of WNV.
- Counties surrounding Mesa county had the highest rates of West Nile Virus in the state.
We expect there to be more mosquitos locally this year because of the wet winter. This could cause increased risk of contracting WNV.
Animal bites from mammals have the potential to transmit rabies. Rabies is fatal once symptoms develop, so people who are bitten by some wild animals should receive a post-exposure vaccine.
Do not touch wild animals. Call the appropriate wildlife agency if you are having problems with wild animals near your home.
Over the past couple of years, animal bites have been steadily increasing in Mesa County. Most bites involve cats or dogs, but we also get reports of people bitten by bats, raccoons, coyotes, and other wildlife!
Learn about how we report health information.
Mesa County Public Health is responsible for keeping our community informed of relevant and timely health data and accurate prevention behaviors.
Read more about our process in our latest report, Reporting Health Data in Mesa County.
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