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West Nile Virus Cases in Kiowa & Prowers County

By Administrator

August 30, 2023

The Kiowa County Commissioners met with Meghan Hillman, Director of the Prowers County Public Health and Environment on Thursday and was told there have been five West Nile Virus cases within Kiowa and Prowers county within the area communities. Hillman added that public health is monitoring the situation and issuing safety guidelines to protect residents.

Prowers County Public Health and Environment is working closely with local health partners to spread awareness about West Nile Virus infection. We encourage residents to take the following precautions to reduce their risk of West Nile Virus infection:

  • Use insect repellent: apply an EPA registered insect repellent on exposed skin and clothing, following manufacturer’s instructions on the container.
  • Wear protective clothing: wear long sleeved shirts, long pants, socks and shoes to minimize exposed skin during outdoor activities.
  • Eliminate standing water: regularly empty and clean containers that collect water such as bird baths, flower pots and gutters to prevent mosquito breeding. In areas where flooding has made it difficult to drain standing water a mosquito larvicide can be used following manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Stay indoors during peak mosquito activity: mosquitoes that carry the West Nile Virus are most active during dawn and dusk. If possible limit outdoor activities during these times.
  • Install or repair screens: ensure windows and doors have screens to keep mosquitoes out of living spaces.
  • Consult healthcare provider: if you experience symptoms such as high fever, severe headache neck stiffness, muscle weakness or confusion seek medical attention promptly.
  • Protect young children and the elderly: take special care to protect these vulnerable populations by using mosquito repellent and keeping them indoors during peak mosquito activity.

West Nile Virus is most commonly transmitted through a bite from a mosquito that can cause mild to severe symptoms including: fever, headache, body aches and in some cases neurological complications. With the increase in rainfall we have seen this year comes an increase in mosquito population and as the mosquito population rises the risk of infection also increases.

There is no treatment for West Nile Virus infection, but milder illness usually improves on its own. Prevention is key, especially for people at higher risk. Rest, fluids and over the counter pain medications may relieve some symptoms.

For Further Information

CDPHE: cdphe.colorado.gov/animal-related-diseases/west-nile-virus/west-nile-virus-and-your-health or CDC: cdc.gov/westnile/.

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