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Published On: Sat, Aug 10th, 2013

Larimer County, Colorado reports risk of West Nile virus as ‘Extremely High’ as 12 human cases are reported

Larimer County, Colorado,  in northern part of the state bordering Wyoming, is experiencing a surge of human West Nile virus (WNV) cases recently and have determined the risk for the mosquito borne viral disease to be “Extremely High”, according to the official county website.

mosquito

Photo/CDC

The latest numbers from Larimer County show that there has been 12 human cases of WNV, while the state of Colorado has reported 10 cases from elsewhere in the state. T

During the 2012 nationwide outbreak of WNV, Larimer County accounted for 8 cases. Colorado reported 131.

And cases are expected to rise. “Unfortunately, by the time a West Nile case is reported to us, it is often three to four weeks past the time a patient was bitten, and two to three weeks past the onset of symptoms,” said health department director Dr. Adrienne LeBailly. “Human cases are reported too late to trigger the most effective interventions when many infected mosquitoes are present in the community.”

First discovered in Uganda in 1937, West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne disease that can cause encephalitis, a brain inflammation.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 80 percent of people (about 4 out of 5) who are infected with WNV will not show any symptoms at all.

Up to 20 percent of the people who become infected have symptoms such as fever, headache, and body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back. Symptoms can last for as short as a few days, though even healthy people have become sick for several weeks.

About one in 150 people infected with WNV will develop severe illness.

The severe symptoms can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. These symptoms may last several weeks, and neurological effects may be permanent.

There is no specific treatment for WNV infection.

In addition to Colorado, the following states have reported human WNV cases so far in 2013: Alabama, Arizona, California, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page

 

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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