New Mexico reports first 2022 case of West Nile virus

SANTA FE, N.M. — The New Mexico Department of Health reported the state’s first West Nile virus case of 2022 Tuesday.

According to the NMDOH, the patient is a San Juan County resident who required hospitalization but is recovering.

West Nile virus first came to New Mexico in 2002. The disease is transmitted through mosquitoes and can be fatal.

In 2021, 33 people were diagnosed with the West Nile virus in New Mexico and five of them died. In 2020, eight people were diagnosed with the virus, which resulted in one death.

The NMDOH encourages people to take precautions and to watch out for symptoms.

Symptoms of headache, fever, muscle and joint aches, nausea and fatigue can pop up in milder cases. People typically recover on their own but symptoms may last from weeks to months.

More serious, but rarer, neuroinvasive forms of West Nile can bring symptoms of neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness and paralysis.

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