The Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment has confirmed the county's first West Nile Virus-related death for 2022.

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Earlier this week, WCDPHE said in a news release that an 80-year-old Weld County resident who had previously been hospitalized later died from neuroinvasive West Nile Virus (WNV).

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“West Nile Virus symptoms can appear 2-14 days after an infection,” said Val Smith, Communicable Disease Program Manager at WCDPHE.

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“Although 80% of infected people do not develop symptoms, for some, initial symptoms can include fever plus headache, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle aches, joint pain, weakness, and a rash. If a person develops symptoms after being bitten by mosquitoes, they should see a health care professional immediately.”

Defending Yourself Against West Nile Virus

While there are currently no medications to treat or vaccines to prevent getting infected by West Nile Virus, there are ways to ensure you're best defending yourself from the virus.

According to Smith and the Weld County Health Department, your best defense against West Nile Virus is to follow the 4 Ds:

  • Drain standing water around your home
  • At Dusk and dawn, when culex mosquitoes are most active, limit outdoor activities
  • Dress in long sleeves and pants
  • Follow instructions carefully for insect repellants that possibly contain DEET
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“With the colder weather just around the corner, the first frost will knock out many mosquitoes.”, Smith said in a Sept. 22 news release via WCDPHE.

As per the latest information via WCDPHE, 20 Weld County residents have tested positive for WNV this season.

The residents who tested positive are not just from one area, rather they represent a wide geographical area for WNV infection. “WNV is endemic in Colorado — meaning you can get the virus any place that infected mosquitoes live and breed,” Smith said.

For more information about West Nile Virus in Weld County, visit weldgov.com.

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