Adams County resident, 60, dies from West Nile virus

An Adams County resident has died from the West Nile virus, the first reported death from the virus in the county this year, health officials said.

The Tri-County Health Department announced the death on Thursday and urged people to take protective measures against the virus, which is contracted through the bite of a mosquito.

“Our thoughts go out to the family of this Adams County resident,” said Dr. John M. Douglas, Jr., executive director of TCHD, in a 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.”

The 60-year-old Adams County resident’s death is the third West Nile virus-related fatality reported in Colorado this year, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE).

People can take the following steps to minimize exposure:

  • Use insect repellents when you go outdoors.
  • Limit outdoor activities at dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and socks in areas where mosquitoes are active.
  • Spray clothes with insect repellent for extra protection.

“In Colorado, a typical West Nile virus season runs from May through October with the majority of human cases reported in August and September when mosquito abundance is highest,” according to the release. “Last year, Colorado had 175 reported human cases of West Nile virus, including 11 deaths. Colorado has reported 39 human cases, 25 hospitalizations, and three deaths so far in 2022.”

West Nile virus symptoms can include fever, headache, muscle aches and fatigue. Most people infected, however, will not show any symptoms. People over age 50 and those with compromised immune systems face a heightened risk for severe illness.

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