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4 cases of West Nile virus in 3 Colorado counties

3:56 PM, Aug 24, 2012   |    comments
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All four patients were hospitalized.

Three have been discharged.

One remains hospitalized.

These are the first human West Nile virus infections reported in 2012 in Colorado.

TCHD is urging people to protect themselves from mosquito bites and to eliminate mosquito breeding areas around their home. A Home and Garden mosquito prevention checklist is available on www.FightTheBiteColorado.com.

More than 1,100 cases have been reported in the United States so far in 2012 - which is the highest number of cases reported through the third week in August since West Nile virus was first detected in 1999.

Seventy-five percent of those cases are reported from five states - Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Dakota and Oklahoma. Almost half of the total cases were in Texas.

Most people who are infected with WNV will not become ill. People who do become ill most commonly experience a self-limiting, flu-like illness (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. West Nile virus can also cause paralysis, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) and/or meningitis (inflammation of the brain's lining). In some cases, WNV can be fatal. People over age 50 are more susceptible to the most severe form of disease. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek medical attention, even if they do not remember being bitten by a mosquito.

(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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