Pueblo County reports first human case of West Nile virus in 2017

PUEBLO, Colo. — A patient at a Pueblo County hospital has been diagnosed with West Nile virus, according to the Pueblo City-Council Health Department.

This is the first human case of West Nile virus in Pueblo County in 2017. A total of 10 people have been diagnosed with West Nile virus in seven counties across the state this year.

In 2016, two people in Pueblo County were diagnosed with the virus.

The symptoms

West Nile virus develops in the body within five to 14 days after a bite from an infected mosquito, according to the health department. It can affect any age group and carries the potential for causing long-term illness and disability.

Symptoms of West Nile virus may include fever, fatigue, headache, muscle weakness, rash, stiff neck or changed mental state. Some infected people experience a feeling of extreme tiredness and weakness for several weeks. Promptly seek medical attention from a physician if you have any of these symptoms.

How to protect yourself

To help protect yourself from West Nile virus, follow the four Ds:

  • DRAIN standing water around your house weekly. Remember to drain water from tires, cans, flowerpots, clogged rain gutters, rain barrels, toys and puddles.
  • DUSK and DAWN are when mosquitoes are most active. Limit outdoor activities and take precautions to prevent mosquito bites during these times.
  • DEET is an effective ingredient to look for in insect repellents. Always follow label instructions carefully.
  • DRESS in long sleeves and pants in areas where mosquitoes are active.

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