A spokesman for the New Mexico Department of Heath confirmed this week that three men in Taos County are currently infected with West Nile virus, a mosquito-borne disease that has so far killed two …
A spokesman for the New Mexico Department of Heath confirmed this week that three men in Taos County are currently infected with West Nile virus, a mosquito-borne disease that has so far killed two people in the state this year.
David Morgan, media and social media manager for the health department, said that the three men infected in Taos are ages 64, 66 and 72. Due to medical privacy laws, Morgan could not provide more information on those cases, other than to say that none of the three men infected had died of the disease as of press time Wednesday (Sept. 25).
Mosquitoes carrying the virus can infect animals or humans by piercing the skin and transferring a virus strain into the bloodstream. While some infections can be asymptomatic, most cause flu-like symptoms. In the most severe cases, the infection can infect the brain and nervous system, often leading to death. People over age 50 or who have compromised immune systems are at the highest risk of infection.
A total of 28 cases of West Nile have been reported in New Mexico so far this year.
“Until the first hard frost, the risk of getting West Nile virus infection in New Mexico will continue,” says DOH Secretary Kathy Kunkel. “We want to encourage everyone to prevent mosquito bites.”
The DOH recommends using insect repellent while outside. Experts also recommend wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants, especially at dawn or dusk. Keep windows and doors without screens closed and drain areas of standing water.
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