DENVER (AP) -- Colorado health officials say two people have died from the West Nile virus this season, both residents of Montrose County in the southwestern part of the state.
The state Department of Health and Public Environment listed the deaths on its website on Tuesday.
Health officials don't identify West Nile victims. The Montrose Daily Press reports (http://tinyurl.com/ce4cvrl ) that an obituary for 86-year-old Dorothy Iris Meaker of Montrose County listed the virus as a contributing factor in her death.
Experts say the risk of developing a serious West Nile virus-related illness is extremely small, occurring in less than 1% of people.
About 20% may get a mild infection called West Nile Fever which includes headache, body aches and overall feeling tired.
Mild symptoms usually resolve themselves.
Those who develop severe headaches, a stiff neck or an altered mental state, are encouraged to seek medical attention right away.
Suggestions for preventing West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne illnesses include avoiding exposure to mosquitoes and eliminating mosquito-breeding sites.
To help control West Nile virus, eliminate standing water in your yard. Mosquitoes breed in pools of standing water.
Unclog roof gutters. Remove old tires or any unused containers that might hold water and serve as a breeding place for mosquitoes.
A link to these suggestions can be found by clicking on Find It.
The health department has reported a total of 33 West Nile cases in 12 Colorado counties this season, including the two deaths.
Delta County has the most cases, eight. Montrose is second with six cases, including the deaths. Mesa County has five.
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