West Nile strikes again in Mesa Co. | AspenTimes.com

West Nile strikes again in Mesa Co.

Grand Junction Free Press Staff
Aspen, CO Colorado

GRAND JUNCTION – An 11-year-old boy who was not hospitalized has been diagnosed with West Nile fever, the Mesa County Health Department announced Monday.

The boy is the second person to be diagnosed with West Nile in Mesa County this season. The first diagnosis was reported July 24.

Eight mosquito samples have also tested positive for the virus so far this season, up from 15 positive pools at this time last year. A dead raven collected near Fourth Street and Orchard Avenue also tested positive for West Nile this season.

“Conditions are favorable for the transmission of West Nile virus at this time and Mesa County residents are strongly encouraged to take preventive measures including the use of insect repellent,” said Dr. Aduddell, Director of Mesa County Health Department.

Most of the 126 cases of West Nile in Colorado so far this year occurred on the Front Range, according to the state. Three of those 126 people died.

Four out of five people infected with the West Nile virus will not develop any type of illness. Those who do show symptoms could suffer fever, headache, tiredness, body aches and occasionally a skin rash on the trunk of the body or swollen lymph glands. The illness can last a few days to several weeks or longer.

Headache, high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness and paralysis are symptoms of a more severe form of disease people with West Nile can develop, such as encephalitis or meningitis. Estimates show encephalitis and meningitis can develop in approximately one of every 150 people infected with West Nile.

The county health department reported the best way to reduce the risk of contracting West Nile is to avoid mosquito bites. West Nile can be prevented by using insect repellent that contains DEET, Picardin or oil of lemon eucalyptus, dressing in long sleeves and pants when in areas where mosquitoes are most active, draining standing water and avoiding the outdoors at dusk or dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.