ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) - According to the Centers for Disease Control, the infection of West Nile Virus can lead to West Nile fever or the more serious West Nile disease.
So far in New Mexico, a 63-year old Bernalillo County man has the more severe clinical form which can produce neurological symptoms.
This includes a high fever, stiffness in the neck, disorientation, muscle weakness and can lead to paralysis.
For the West Nile fever, infected people can also experience a number of symptoms including fever, tiredness, swollen lymph glands and a body rash.
From the time someone is infected, the symptoms may not show up anywhere from two days to two weeks.
If you feel the onset of any of these symptoms, doctors recommend you call a physician immediately because waiting could be very costly.
- Health officials urge residents to try and take preventative measures and avoid being bitten by mosquitos.
- Get rid of any standing water from around your home.
- Protect your skin with insect repellent if you're going to be outside.
- If it is required that you have to be outside, avoid being out during early morning or late hours, that's when mosquitoes are at their peak.
- Wear clothing which would keep you better covered.
"West Nile is a virus so there's no antibiotics to take," adds Dr. Paul Ettestad from the New Mexico Department of Health. "So it's real important especially if you have serious complications of West Nile to be able to seek medical treatment and get supportive care as soon as possible."
In 2011, there were only four cases of West Nile Virus in the state, all with the more severe symptoms. Those figures are down from 25 cases in 2010, including one fatality.
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