Three New West Nile Virus Cases Confirmed in New Mexico


SANTA FE -- The New Mexico Department of Health announces that two adults, a man from Eddy County, and a woman from Taos County, and a child from San Juan County, have tested positive for West Nile Virus infection. The woman had only mild symptoms of the virus while the man and child had the severe form of the disease with neurological involvement. All three are recovering.


New Mexicos total number of West Nile Virus cases is now eight with earlier cases occurring in residents from Bernalillo, Sandoval, San Juan and Santa Fe Counties.


West Nile Virus activity is increasing in many different areas around New Mexico, said Paul Ettestad, the state public health veterinarian for the New Mexico Department of Health. It is likely that infected mosquitoes can be found throughout the entire state. It is important for people to take precautions to avoid mosquito bite exposure wherever they are.


In 2003, New Mexico had a total of 209 laboratory-confirmed cases and four fatal cases of West Nile Virus.


In people, West Nile Virus can cause flu-like symptoms such as fever, nausea, headache, and muscle aches, said C. Mack Sewell, state epidemiologist. If someone feels they have the flu and are feeling sick, they should see their healthcare provider. Those over 50 years old are at most risk for serious disease from West Nile Virus.


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