Officials have confirmed the first case of West Nile virus in Pueblo County. A second human case is suspected, but has not been confirmed.
The Pueblo City-County Health Department urges the public to take every precaution to avoid contracting this virus, which in the most serious cases can cause long-term sickness and disability.
'We know for certain mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus are in our community, and a human case has been confirmed, so it is very important every individual take precaution," Dr. Christine Nevin-Woods, public health director of the Health Department, said in a statement.
West Nile virus does not show up immediately after a mosquito bite, but rather develops five days to two weeks after the bite. Symptoms include fever, extreme fatigue, a stiff neck, rash, headaches and a changed mental state.
The Health Department released the following protective measures, known as the Four Ds:
• DRAIN: Eliminate standing water in tires or similar water-holding containers as these may serve as mosquito breeding sites. Change the water in birdbaths, empty tires or flower pots, at least weekly.
• DUSK AND DAWN: Avoid outdoor activities, such as gardening, at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
• DEET, picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus are effective ingredients to look for in insect repellents. Always follow label instructions for application.
• DRESS: If outside during the periods when mosquitoes are most active, cover up by wearing long-sleeved shirts, pants, shoes and socks.
Additional information about West Nile virus can be found by clicking here.