Monday, June 24

The Crestone Eagle is a nonprofit monthly newspaper serving Crestone and the San Luis Valley

First West Nile virus reported in SLV

By Beverly Strnad, RN Interim Director, AlamosaCounty Public Health Department

he first human case of West Nile virus (WNV) in the San Luis Valley for 2023 was recently reported in Alamosa County. 

Public Health Officials are warning folks to continue taking measures to prevent mosquito bites, as this is the time of year when WNV is most likely.

There has been a sharp increase in reported cases of WNV over the last week across Colorado. 

Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) reported 74 cases as of August 22, including 5 deaths. 

As mosquito season continues, health officials recommend taking the following steps to protect yourself and your family from West Nile virus: 

Limiting activities outdoors at dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.

Wearing long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and socks in areas where mosquitoes are active.

Using an insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or para-menthane-diol.

Eliminate sources of standing water near your home, which can become a breeding ground for the mosquitoes that carry the West Nile virus. 

Mosquito-proof your home by installing or repairing screens on windows and doors.

If you think you or a family member is sick with West Nile virus, consult a health care provider, especially if you develop a fever with severe headache or confusion following a mosquito bite.

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