KUNM

West Nile Virus Cases Spike In New Mexico

Sep 29, 2017

There’s been a sharp uptick in confirmed West Nile virus cases this year, alongside recent heavy rains.

The state Department of Health and Governor Susana Martinez are advising people to take precautions against the mosquito borne disease.

There were six cases of West Nile virus last year in New Mexico according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – but that’s up sharply to 27 already so far this year.

David Morgan, spokesperson for the state Department of Health, said often people wait too long before getting checked out when they have symptoms.

“It’s very easy to hear it on the news and go okay next, when it’s something that folks should be concerned about," Morgan said.

Older folks and those with serious illnesses should be particularly careful, Morgan said, because they don’t have strong immune systems to fight the virus. Don’t wait it out if you have headaches, body aches, skin rashes, swollen lymph nodes, or a fever.

West Nile season begins in July and goes through October.

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KUNM's Public Health New Mexico Project is funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the McCune Charitable Foundation. Find all stories from the project at www.publichealthnm.org.