NewsCovering Colorado


First West Nile Virus death in Pueblo County of 2023 confirmed Tuesday

Posted at 6:37 PM, Aug 22, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-22 21:09:47-04

PUEBLO, CO — The Pueblo Department of Public Health has confirmed the first human death case in Pueblo County caused by the West Nile Virus of 2023.

In a news release on Tuesday, the department confirmed the death.

“This is a tragic loss of life, and we share our heartfelt condolences with the family,” said Randy Evetts, Director at the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment.

The Pueblo County Department of Public Health says that the West Nile Virus develops within the human body between 5 - 14 days following a bite from an infected mosquito. Symptoms of West Nile Virus may include the following:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Muscle weakness
  • Rash
  • Stiff neck
  • Changed mental state

Some people may feel extreme fatigue and tiredness for several weeks. If you have been bitten by a mosquito and have reason to believe you are experiencing any of these symptoms it is recommended you reach out to your health care professional immediately.

“We are seeing a higher number of human cases and more mosquitoes that are carrying the virus than average,” stated Alicia Solis, program manager at PDPHE. Solis added, “It is very important for every individual to take precautions to avoid mosquitoes that spread West Nile virus illness.”

The Pueblo County Department of Public Health says there have been a total of nine confirmed human cases of West Nile Virus in Colorado this year. According to the Colorado Department of Public Health, at the time of writing this article, a total of 74 people have been affected by the virus.

Of those affected, 43 of them have required hospitalization, and 39 have experienced neurological symptoms.


El Paso County confirms first human West Nile virus this year

In El Paso County the Colorado Department of Public Health says there are a total of seven cases. The El Paso County Public Health Department confirmed its first human case of West Nile Virus earlier this month.

Record rainfall across Colorado in June has led to concerns over increased mosquito broods across Colorado with standing water more prevalent.

Thankfully, there are some simple steps that the Pueblo Department of Public Health says you can do to keep yourself and others safe.

Follow the four D's:

  • DRAIN standing water around your house weekly. Remember to drain water from tires, cans, flowerpots, clogged rain gutters, rain barrels, toys, and puddles.
  • DUSK and DAWN are when mosquitoes are most active. Limit outdoor activities and take precautions to prevent mosquito bites during these times.
  • DEET is an effective ingredient to look for in insect repellents. Always follow label instructions carefully.
  • DRESS in long sleeves and pants in areas where mosquitoes are active.

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