August 17th - West Nile Meningitis Confirmed In County...
of West Nile meningitis in a Fort Collins resident
was confirmed today by the Larimer County
Department of Health and Environment. The
52-year-old woman was probably bitten by an
infected mosquito around July 20th, and her symptoms
appeared July 29th. After spending a week in
Poudre Valley Hospital, she is recovering at home.
only is this a reminder that West Nile Virus is
still very much with us, but also of its serious
consequences,” said Adrienne LeBailly, MD,
director of the Larimer County Department of
Health and Environment. “West Nile Virus illness
can be debilitating and its effects last a long
time. We all need to continue to be vigilant in
using insect repellents and taking other steps to
prevent being bitten by an infected mosquito.”
Nile illness is caused by the bite of a mosquito
infected with the virus. Symptoms may
include fever, muscle aches, and marked fatigue.
Sometimes these symptoms can progress to
neurological symptoms. In the most serious
cases, the virus can invade an infected person’s
nervous system and result in meningitis or
encephalitis. Symptoms include high fever,
neck and eye pain, headaches, dizziness,
sensitivity to light, tremors, difficulty walking
or slurred speech.
very important to see your physician if you have
neurological symptoms,” said LeBailly.
“Though there is no medicine to treat West Nile
virus itself, supportive treatment can be critical
announcement of the meningitis comes during a week
when the number of infected mosquitoes in Fort
Collins and Loveland suddenly jumped to the
highest level so far this year.
in Loveland and Fort Collins are at a higher risk
now of being bitten by an infected Culex mosquito
(the kind that carry West Nile virus) than at any
time this summer,” said Mike Doyle, West Nile
Virus Educator for the department of health and
notes that last week in Fort Collins there were a
total of 10 positive collective mosquito samples
in Fort Collins; this week there are an additional
8. Last week in Loveland there were a total
of 5 positive collective samples; this week that
number jumped by an additional 16.
mosquitoes were collected last week, so the number
of infected mosquitoes out there right now might
be even higher if the current trend continues,”
to Doyle, the largest concentrations of positive
mosquitoes are within one mile both north and
south of the Poudre River, from LaPorte all the
way to Windsor. “This doesn’t mean that
the rest of Fort Collins is safe,” he said and
added that positive mosquitoes might be found
anywhere the city.
mosquitoes are widespread in Loveland,” said
Doyle “especially east of 287 and south of Hwy.
34.” He also added that positive birds
have been found in both Fort Collins and Loveland
and positive mosquitoes were found in Berthoud
traps last week.
summer activities might be coming to a close, the
West Nile Virus-carrying mosquitoes will be active
for a while yet, according to Doyle. “As the
evenings start to get cooler in September,
mosquito activity will slow down, but for now,
stick with the preventive steps that have been
recommended all summer,” he said. These
include the use of an effective insect repellent
containing DEET when outside during
mosquito-active hours, from dusk until dawn;
eliminate standing water around your yard; and
water your lawns sparingly.
more information on West Nile Virus, go to www.larimer.org/health
or call the Larimer County Department of Health
and Environment at 970-498-6752.