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Boulder County Resident With West Nile Virus Hospitalized

BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) -- A Boulder resident has contracted West Nile virus, Boulder County Public Health confirmed. The resident, who is in their 70s, reported getting multiple mosquito bites while gardening. That person currently hospitalized with meningitis (inflammation of the brain's lining), which can be caused by the virus.

Culex tarsalis mosquito
A culex tarsalis mosquito (credit: nathistoc.bio.uci.edu)

West Nile virus is transmitted to humans from the bite of an infected mosquito. While most infections are mild, the more serious infections can cause encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) and/or meningitis, loss of vision, paralysis, coma, tremors, convulsions, and death. People over the age of 50 or with weakened immune systems are at greater risk of developing serious illness.

Symptoms of West Nile virus will typically include fever, extreme fatigue, headache, body aches, but can occasionally also include skin rashes and swollen lymph nodes. Symptoms generally appear 3-14 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Anyone who experiences these symptoms should consult their health care provider.

There is no treatment, cure, or human vaccination for the virus, but health care providers can treat symptoms to help patients feel better and possibly recover more quickly.

This is the second person in the state to test positive for the virus.

Boulder County Public Health officials urge residents to remember the 4Ds:

  1. Use DEET-enhanced insect repellent or alternative.
  2. DRESS in long sleeves and pants.
  3. Avoid the outdoors from DUSK until DAWN.
  4. DRAIN standing water outside your home.

For more information about West Nile virus, mosquito activity in Boulder County, or proactive steps to take, visit www.BoulderCountyMosquito.net or call the Colorado Health Information Line at 877-462-2911.

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