Two people have been stricken with West Nile virus in Colorado

The first two human cases of West Nile virus have been reported in Colorado, according to health officials.

One case is in Larimer County and the other in Delta County, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said in a news release Friday. The people stricken have survived, and both are recovering from their illness, the CDPHE said.

West Nile virus is most commonly spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. Mosquitoes with the virus have been found this season in Adams, Boulder, Delta, Denver, Larimer, and Weld counties.

“There are simple precautions people can take to protect themselves from West Nile virus,” said Dr. Jennifer House, deputy state epidemiologist and public health veterinarian, in the release.  “Use an effective insect repellent, wear protective clothing, or stay indoors when mosquitoes are active, and mosquito-proof your home.”

In Colorado, most human West Nile virus cases are reported in August and September, the release said. In 2020, Colorado had 35 reported human cases, including one death.

“Most people infected with West Nile virus don’t have symptoms. About 20% of infected people will have flu-like symptoms, and fewer than 1% develop a serious, potentially deadly illness,” the CDPHE said. “People over age 60 and those with certain medical conditions are at greater risk of serious illness.”


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