VALENCIA COUNTY, N.M. (KRQE) – A Valencia County man is the first person to die from West Nile Virus in New Mexico this year. The state Department of Health has confirmed 36 human cases of the mosquito-borne virus in 13 counties including Bernalillo.

The virus has also been found in 16 horses and two birds. West Nile Virus has claimed one to six lives in New Mexico each of the past five years.

The DOH recommends the following ways for people to protect themselves from West Nile Virus:

  • Use an insect repellent every time you go outside that includes DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and oil of lemon eucalyptus/para-menthane-diol
  • Get rid of containers that hold water where mosquitoes can lay their eggs
  • Drain the water in birdbaths, wading pools, and saucers under potted plants weekly
  • Make sure rain barrels are tightly screened. 
  • Wear long sleeves and pants at dawn and dusk
  • Keep windows and doors closed if there is not a screen