West Nile Costs

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The West Nile season that left 43 people dead in Colorado this year is also carrying a financial punch for survivors who spent days recovering in hospitals.

Patients treated this summer for West Nile virus in three Larimer and Weld county hospitals were billed an average of nearly
24-thousand dollars and paid 3.8 million dollars overall.

The highest bill among the 175 cases was 340-thousand dollars
for a patient hospitalized for more than 40 days with paralysis and
encephalitis -- a dangerous brain swelling.

Officials say the direct cost of caring for the more than 460
Coloradans who were hospitalized with West Nile symptoms this year
is expected to exceed tens of millions of dollars.