The Mesa County Health Department is reporting the first human case of West Nile virus this year. The patient is a 54-year-old woman who lives on the Redlands. The woman reported to her physician that she'd been suffering from headaches, fever, and body aches. She was diagnosed with West Nile virus fever. Presenting with less serious symptoms than some of the others illnesses that can result from the virus such as Meningitis or Encephalitis.
The Redlands has been a hotspot for West Nile–carrying mosquitoes, but there's no way to determine if the woman was bitten there. This time last year there had already been three confirmed human cases of West Nile virus in Mesa County and one positive horse. However, there was only one positive pool of mosquitoes and this year eight pools of mosquitoes in four different locations of the Grand Valley have tested positive.
Health officials advise that people use effective repellents when outdoors and wear long–sleeved clothing as well avoid being outdoors at dawn and dusk when the insects are most active. 80 percent of all people infected with West Nile show no symptoms of the virus, but if flu–like symptoms appear notify a health care provider immediately.