Denver-area health officials say four Coloradans have been diagnosed with the West Nile virus.
The Tri-County Health Department said Friday all four patients in Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas counties were hospitalized. They are believed to be the first cases diagnosed in Colorado this year.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say more than 1,100 cases have been reported in the United States in 2012. That's the highest number of cases reported by this time of the season since the virus was first detected in the United States in 1999.
Most people infected with West Nile virus won't get sick, but about one in 150 people will develop the severe form of the illness. Symptoms include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness and paralysis.
Now that the virus has emerged in Colorado, Tri-County Health Department is urging the public to take precautionary measures to protect themselves. These include what the Health Department refers to as the "Five Ds:"
-Drain all standing water around the house to eliminate any mosquito-breeding sites. Flowerpots, saucers, wheelbarrows, watering can, tires and tire swings, sandbox toys and jars are among the common household items that can hold enough water for attracting and breeding mosquitoes.
-Dress in long-sleeved shirts, long pants, shoes and socks.
-Use mosquito repellents that contain DEET or picaridin while outdoors.
-Avoid outdoor activities at dusk and dawn while mosquitoes are most active.
KKTV firmly believes in freedom of speech for all and we are happy to provide this forum for the community to share opinions and facts. We ask that commenters keep it clean, keep it truthful, stay on topic and be responsible. Comments left here do not necessarily represent the viewpoint of KKTV 11 News.
If you believe that any of the comments on our site are inappropriate or offensive, please tell us by clicking “Report Abuse” and answering the questions that follow. We will review any reported comments promptly.powered by Disqus
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or firstname.lastname@example.org.