Tribal Radio | By Sarah Flower

There has been a second death in Colorado from West Nile virus, this time in La Plata County.

The first death was reported earlier this month in Weld County. The San Juan Basin Public Health has yet to release any information on the individual other than that they are a resident of La Plata County. SJBPHD has reported 5 cases of West Nile in Archuleta and La Plata county.

West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne illness that can cause a range of symptoms, from mild to severe. In rare cases, the virus can be fatal. Fatalities from West Nile virus are more likely to occur in people over the age of 60 and in people with certain medical conditions.

There is no specific treatment for West Nile virus. Treatment is supportive and includes measures to relieve symptoms such as fever, headache, and muscle aches. In some cases, hospitalization may be necessary.

Things that can be done to reduce the risk of getting West Nile virus:

  • Use insect repellent when you are outdoors.
  • Wear long sleeves and pants when you are outdoors, especially during dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Drain standing water around your home.
  • Keep your yard clean and free of debris.

If you think a mosquito may have bitten you and are experiencing West Nile virus symptoms, it is vital to see a doctor immediately.

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