SANTA FE (KRQE) - New Mexico has now recorded eight human cases of West Nile virus, and while some victims are seriously ill, the state Department of Health has not reported any fatalities.
The three new cases added in the last five days are 55- and 76-year-old men from Bernalillo County and a 76-year-old man from Doña Ana County.
The younger man has what the DOH called "uncomplicated fever" while both of the older men have developed encephalitis or meningitis.
The disease also has infected several horses in southeast New Mexico and is believed responsible for the deaths of two of them.
DOH confirmed five human cases of the mosquito-carried virus earlier in Bernalillo, Curry, Doña Ana and San Miguel counties.
Common symptoms DOH says are worth a trip to a health care provider include:
- muscle aches
In rare cases the diseases advances into meningitis, an inflammation of membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord, or encephalitis, and inflammation of the brain.
Preventative measures include using insect repellents, wearing protective clothing like socks and loose-fitting long-sleeve shirts and long pants, eliminating standing water where mosquitoes can breed and keeping doors and windows closed unless they are screened.
The disease was first reported in New Mexico in 2003, and historically the number of cases peaks in August and September.
Addition information is available on the DOH West Nile Health Data website.
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