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News Release

First case of West Nile for 2014 confirmed

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Department: Health & Environment
Release Date: Aug 15, 2014

Contact Information:

Jane Viste
jviste@larimer.org
498-6750

A Loveland man was confirmed this week to be Larimer County’s first case of West Nile virus in 2014.  The man did not need to be hospitalized and has recovered.

 

The man began to show symptoms in early August and it’s likely he was infected in late July. 

 

The first confirmed case of West Nile is usually reported earlier than this year’s, some as early as June but most in July. (see past years’ statistics --  http://larimer.org/health/cd/stats.htm). However, the first infected mosquitoes were also later this year than usual and not trapped until the week of July 20th. 

 

West Nile Virus (WNV) is a virus spread by mosquito bites.  It can cause mild to serious illness, chronic disability and, rarely, death.  It first came to the U.S. in 1999 and in 2003 it caused over 500 illnesses and 9 deaths in Larimer County.

 

Symptoms range from none to fever, headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or a rash. Fatigue and weakness can last for weeks or months. A small number of people, (less than 1%) have symptoms of meningitis or encephalitis.  They may have severe headache, high fever, stiff neck, confusion, tremors, seizures, or paralysis. 

 

The only way to prevent getting West Nile virus is to prevent being bitten by a mosquito infected with the virus (Culex mosquitoes). The following are steps you can take to keep yourself and your family healthy:

 

  • Use a mosquito repellent that has been proven to be effective against West Nile virus-carrying mosquitoes.  Ones that contain DEET, Picaridin, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (with active ingredient PMD, or p-menthane diol) or IR3535 are good choices.
  • Cover up as much as possible,and use a repellent on exposed skin when out during prime Culex mosquito-biting hours (from dusk to dawn).
  • Drain standing water in your yard or in your garden.  Empty bird baths at least  twice a week when the weather is hot.
  • Add mosquito-eating minnows to or a mosquito “dunk” to ornamental ponds that hold standing water.
  • Use netting over baby carriers and strollers
  • Keep window screens repaired.

 

For more tips on what you can do to prevent West Nile virus, or on repellent use, visit:  http://larimer.org/health/cd/westnile.asp or call 498-6700.