Pueblo, CO— Public Health officials confirmed Pueblo County’s first human death case caused by West Nile virus.

This is a tragic loss of life, and we share our heartfelt condolences with the family,” said Randy Evetts, director at the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment.

“We are seeing a higher number of human cases and more mosquitoes that are carrying the virus than average,” stated Alicia Solis, program manager at PDPHE. Solis added, “It is very important for every individual to take precautions to avoid mosquitoes that spread West Nile virus illness.”

West Nile virus develops in the human body within 5-14 days after a bite from an infected mosquito. West Nile virus can be serious including fever, meningitis, encephalitis, and has potential for causing long-term illness and disability or death. West Nile virus can affect any age group.  There have been nine confirmed human cases in Pueblo County this year.

Symptoms of West Nile virus may include fever, fatigue, headache, muscle weakness, rash, stiff neck or changed mental state. Some infected persons experience a feeling of extreme tiredness and weakness for several weeks. Immediately seek medical attention if you have any of these symptoms.

PDPHE advises all individuals to protect themselves from West Nile virus by following the Four D’s:

  • DRAIN standing water around your house weekly. Remember to drain water from tires, cans, flowerpots, clogged rain gutters, rain barrels, toys and puddles.
  • DUSK and DAWN are when mosquitoes are most active. Limit outdoor activities and take precautions to prevent mosquito bites during these times.
  • DEET is an effective ingredient to look for in insect repellents. Always follow label instructions carefully.
  • DRESS in long sleeves and pants in areas where mosquitoes are active.