The state of Colorado is reporting 12 people have been hospitalized for West Nile Virus in our state.
The Colorado Department of Public Health reported that mosquito samples first tested positive for West Nile Virus in June in Delta, Larimer and Weld counties.
Since then, human cases of West Nile Virus have been reported in Adams, Arapahoe, Delta, Douglas, Fremont, Mesa, Montrose, Morgan and Weld counties.
The Tri-County Health Department said one person in its jurisdiction (Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas counties) is still hospitalized.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that over 1,100 cases have been reported in the United States this year, which is the highest number of cases reported through the third week in August since West Nile Virus was first detected in the U.S. in 1999.
About 75 percent of the cases have been reported from five states -- Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Dakota, and Oklahoma.
"West Nile virus is preventable by protecting yourself against mosquito bites," said Dr. Richard L. Vogt, executive director of Tri-County Health Department. "You can do this by avoiding outdoor exposure when mosquitoes are active, wearing protective clothing and applying insect repellent whenever you are outdoors -- whether in the backwoods or in your own back yard. You should also drain areas of standing water around your home to prevent mosquitoes from breeding there.
Most people who are infected with the virus will not become ill, officials said. People who do become seriously ill most commonly experience a self-limiting, flu-like illness, including fever, headache, body aches, skin rash and swollen lymph nodes. Symptoms usually appear three to 14 days after exposure.
Signs of more severe illness may include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, muscle weakness or convulsions.
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