Colorado registered its first human case of the West Nile virus this year, and the state Department of Health advised residents to take precautions against mosquito bites.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment said it received a report Wednesday that a Delta County resident was infected with the West Nile. The person was hospitalized according to information from the state.
Last year, 122 people tested positive for the West Nile in Colorado and eight died.
The main way in which the virus spreads is through mosquito bites. Humans can not give to each other except through blood transfusions, breastfeeding or transmission from mother to fetus.
Infected mosquitoes have been found in Larimer, Delta and Weld counties. But not all counties catch and test mosquitoes, so the state health department advises everyone to take precautions:
- Use insect repellent when going out. Repellents containing DEET, picaridine, IR3535, lemon oil eucalyptus or para-mentanediol provide the best protection.
- Limit outdoor activities near dawn or dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.
- Wear long sleeves, long pants and socks in areas where mosquitoes live and spray your clothes with repellent.
- Drain standing water around your house, including in decks, cans, flower pots, birdbaths and rain barrels.
- Keep window and door screens in good condition.
Most people experience no symptoms of West Nile virus. About one in five people bitten by an infected mosquito develops moderate symptoms such as fever, aches, vomiting, diarrhea or rash, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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