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Colorado State Flag
Tuesday, July 14, 2020  

Coloradoan contracts West Nile-CDC confirmsPublished 9/24/2002

by Dean Anderson

The West Nile Virus has been in Colorado for a month, now it’s in at least one of its residents.A 42-year-old Commerce man became the first Coloradoan to contract the virus after he was bitten by mosquitoes during a recent bird hunting trip to his farm in the north earstern part of the state.  The man whet on a Labor day trip to his farm in Sedgwick County.  The puropse was to mow some grass and shoot a few doves.  During the trip the man was bitten between 30 and 40 times by mosquitoes despite heavy clothing and bug repellant. 

Three days after returning he came down with flu-like symptoms:  nausea and diziness, muscle aches, fever, and eventually a rash.    

Preliminary blood tests were confirmed by the Center For Disease Control and Prevention, the agency announcing valid West Nile Virus cases. That result came Tuesday, on Wednesday the state health department confirmed the man was the first human case in Colorado.Wednesday was also the day the state health department released its latest update of West Nile in Colorado. Twenty eight more Colorado horses and 24 more dead birds tested positive. The total now stands at 203 horses infected and 62 birds. Colorado now joins 30 other states that have human cases of the virus. The virushas claimed 80 lives and more than 1,600 have become ill, according to the CDC. With fall new, health officials had hoped that Colorado would be spared any human cases this mosquito season. The CDC estimates that only one in 150 people bitten by mosquitoes carrying the virus will develop serious conditions such as encephalitis or meningitis. West Nile has now been found in 20 Colorado counties and, for the first time, west of the Continental Divide. Global warming has been thought to contribute to the mosquito population. Dry summers may have actually contributed to the epidemic by creating stagnant pools where mosquitoes can breed. Officials do not recommend simply staying indoors to avoid the virus. Mosquito repellent, however, is highly recommended for use. The virus is transmitted from a mosquito’s saliva. It then travels through-out the person’s body via the lymph fluids nd nodes via the liver or spleen. Most infected may not even know it or experience very mild symptoms, but the irus is especially dangerous to the young and elderly, or those with weakened im-mune systems. Recently it was announced that four people had contracted the virus through organ transplants. Organs were harvested from a Georgia woman who died after a  motor vehicle accident. The CDC admitted it was possible the woman could have been infected by the multiple units of blood she received en route to the hospital but points to the transplants as being the more likely source. The cases are believed to be the first from a medical procedure and only serve to fuel a growing fear of the virus. The CDC is recommending that patients with minor symptoms and headaches not give blood, but point out that no transmission by blood transfusion have been docu-mented. You can visit the CDC’s Web site for more information,


West Nile has been confirmed in 20 Colorado counties.  There are thirty other states with confirmed human cases of the west nile virus.
West Nile has been confirmed in 20 Colorado counties. There are thirty other states with confirmed human cases of the west nile virus.
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