First West Nile Virus death confirmed in Adams County

Luke Zarzecki
lzarzecki@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 9/13/22

The first death from the West Nile Virus in Adams County was confirmed on Sept. 1.This is Colorado’s third death from the virus in 2022.

The resident, who was in their 60s, likely died from …

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First West Nile Virus death confirmed in Adams County

Posted

The first death from the West Nile Virus in Adams County was confirmed on Sept. 1.

This is Colorado’s third death from the virus in 2022.

The resident, who was in their 60s, likely died from complications of the underlying infection, according to a news release from Tri-County Health Department. 

“Our thoughts go out to the family of this Adams County resident,” said Dr. John M. Douglas, Jr., MD, Executive Director of Tri-County Health Department in the news release. “The increased rain and warmer weather have given mosquitos an ideal breeding habitat this season. I urge people to take precautions, especially at dawn and dusk when mosquitos are most active.”

Cases are rising in Adams County. As of Aug. 25, there were three confirmed cases. As of Sept. 7, there have been eight. 

According to Deputy State Epidemiologist Jennifer House, the virus is transmitted through mosquito bites and begins with a fever. Some individuals progress to a severe illness that is neuroinvasive. 

“That means that the virus has gotten into the brain and spinal cord and can cause encephalitis or meningitis encephalitis and those individuals end up hospitalized. They can potentially have severe outcomes from that infection,” she said.

It takes about seven days from the mosquito bite for the virus to become neuroinvasive, and that makes it especially dangerous since it also can take seven days for someone to start feeling symptoms.

There is no human vaccine for the West Nile Virus and residents can protect themselves to avoid going outside during the mosquitoes’ most active times — dusk and dawn.

If someone is outside during those times, covering exposed skin with clothing can help, as well as using an EPA-approved insect repellent to avoid bites.

Dumping any standing water on one’s property will reduce mosquito populations. Mosquitoes can breed in as little as a tablespoon of water and finish their developmental stages to fly in seven days, House said. Dumping bowls, cans and other water-filled containers within a week can prevent breeding.

mosquito, WNV, west nile virus, Adams County

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