First case of West Nile virus reported in state

Posted at: 07/29/2013 5:39 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

A 13-year-old boy from San Juan County is New Mexico’s first human case of West Nile virus this year. The boy is recovering at home after a short stay in the hospital, but West Nile can be a very serious illness, especially for people over 60.

Mosquitoes carry West Nile, and they’re breeding like crazy with all of the rain we’ve been getting.  New Mexico sees most of its cases in August and September, so we’re just getting started.

“Mosquito populations are increasing and we should expect West Nile Virus activity throughout the state,” said Dr. Paul Ettestad, the state’s public health veterinarian.

Symptoms include fever, nausea, headache and muscle ache. In rare cases it can lead to meningitis and encephalitis. Best advice: avoid mosquito bites. When you’re outside, use insect repellents containing DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535 on skin and permethrin on clothing.

The state had 47 West Nile cases last year, with one fatality.

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