County confirms first 2007 West Nile case
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. A Battlement Mesa man is the first confirmed human case of the West Nile virus in the county this year.On Thursday, Garfield County Public Health reported the man became ill July 31. He is no longer suffering symptoms or showing signs of having the virus.”We reported that we had a positive pool,” said Mary Meisner, public health director for Garfield County. “We knew we had some mosquitos test positive for the West Nile Virus.”According to Garfield County Public Health, the virus can be present without symptoms, which can be mild to moderate. Signs include headache, chills, rash, muscle and body aches, fatigue, joint pain and fever.Meisner suggested networking with a healthcare professional if symptoms arise – especially around Labor Day.”This is the last big weekend of the summer … And it’s winding up,” she said. “We haven’t had a killing frost, so there are still more mosquitos out there.”Meisner reminds the public to take precautions to prevent contracting the West Nile virus – what she referred to as the “Four Ds.” When outdoors, wear DEET, the active ingredient in many insect repellent products; avoid being out at dawn and dusk; and drain standing water. Garfield County Public Health also advises that people wear long sleeves and pants to cover skin.”The summer’s not over, and it just takes one mosquito bite,” she said. “The four Ds are our mantra.”Outdoor enthusiasts, tourists and hunters should take particular precautions when participating in activities in the state, according to Fight the Bite Colorado. They should always apply sunscreen before DEET, and consider using mosquito netting or screened tents when camping.For hunters, Fight the Bite Colorado suggests wearing gloves when handling and cleaning animals to prevent blood exposure to bare hands. Meat should be cooked thoroughly before eating.For more information on West Nile virus prevention, visit http://www.fightthebitecolorado.com.Contact April Clark: 945-8515, ext. firstname.lastname@example.org
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