On Monday, Mesa County has its first laboratory confirmed case of the West Nile Virus this year. It’s the 5th case in Colorado since last mosquito season.
"Of people who do catch West Nile and do exhibit symptoms, there are two different severities," said Veronica Harvey, the communications director for the Mesa County Heath Department. The more severe version of the disease can lead to meningitis and encephalitis, a swelling of the brain and possibly death. "This particular resident has the lesser form of the disease, which is good," said Harvey.
There is, however, no cure for the West Nile Virus. No treatment. Harvey says it’s a virus that just has to run its course. Last year 11 people in Mesa County became infected, and one person died. The disease also tends to affect the elderly more.
West Nile has been found in mosquitoes in Delta County, but there’s been no confirmed human cases there yet.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, Mesa, Delta, and Montrose counties have some of the highest rates of infection in the nation.