(EL PASO COUNTY, Colo.) — El Paso County Public Health has confirmed two deaths due to West Nile virus in El Paso County.
The first human case of West Nile in the county in 2023 was confirmed earlier in August.
According to El Paso County Public Health, most people infected with West Nile don’t have symptoms. However, one in five infected people will have flu-like symptoms, which usually begin two to 14 days after exposure.
Serious, potentially deadly neurologic illness occurs in fewer than one in 100 infected people.
People aged 60 years and older and those with certain medical conditions—such as diabetes or kidney disease — are at greater risk of serious illness.
El Paso County Public Health confirmed the deaths to FOX21 News on Wednesday, Aug. 30. Public Health did not specify the ages or circumstances of the two who died.
How to protect yourself against West Nile virus:
- Use an EPA-registered insect repellent, such as DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus. The effectiveness of non-EPA registered insect repellents is unknown, including some natural repellents.
- Limit time outdoors during the times of day when mosquitoes are most active, typically around dusk and dawn.
- Wear loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirts and pants, especially when outdoors around dusk and dawn.
- Use screens on windows and doors. Repair holes in screens to keep mosquitoes outdoors.
- Frequently drain standing water from areas around the house such as bird baths, portable pools, tires, planters, pet water dishes, and children’s swimming pools. Mosquitoes can lay eggs and grow in standing water.
- Treat standing water—such as ponds, ditches, clogged rain gutters, flowerpots, plant saucers, puddles, and buckets—with larvicide “doughnuts,” which can be purchased at hardware stores.
- Larvicide doughnuts use a naturally occurring type of bacteria to control mosquitoes.