San Juan Basin Health Department reports the first confirmed human cases of West Nile Virus in Archuleta and La Plata counties this year.
A 33-year-old woman in Archuleta County and 72-year-old male in La Plata County both tested positive this week for West Nile Virus. Both sought medical treatment and are currently recovering at home.
There have only been four previous cases of West Nile Virus reported in Colorado this year. Last year, there were 81 cases statewide. West Nile Virus human cases have been reported through September and occasionally even into October. Therefore, the Health Department urges individuals to continue preventative measures including reducing the conditions where mosquitoes can hatch as well as protecting yourself and family against mosquito bites.
To prevent getting West Nile virus, the Health Department recommends the following:
• 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.
• Keep exposed skin covered or use a repellent when out at prime mosquito-biting hours, between dusk and dawn.
• Drain standing water in your yard or in your garden.
• Add mosquito-eating minnows to or a mosquito “dunk” to ornamental ponds that feature still water. Treat ponds and sewage lagoons with an approved mosquito larvicide
• Install or repair door and window screens.
For more information on preventative measures and insect repellent options, individuals can check out www.fightthebitecolorado.com or call the statewide toll-free HelpLine: (877) 462-2911.