The New Mexico Department of Health has reported that a 12-year-old girl living in Valencia County has been diagnosed with the state's first human case of West Nile virus for 2015.
She was hospitalized for neuroinvasive disease, which is the serious form of West Nile virus, and is recovering at her home.
As of today, there are no vaccines or medications that can effectively prevent or treat West Nile virus. Health professionals encourage people to take proactive steps to avoid contracting West Nile virus from mosquitoes, including using an insect repellent such as DEET, IR3535, picardin, and oil from lemon eucalyptus/para-menthane-diol when they are outdoors; following the directions of the said insect repellent; draining standing water -- even in tires, cans, gutters, buckets and dishes under potter plants -- on a regular basis; using air conditioning; closing all doors and windows if they do not have screens; and wearing pants and long sleeves during the times of day when mosquitoes are most active.
“With the large amount of extensive rainfall we have received recently, mosquito populations can be expected to increase and there is the potential for West Nile virus cases in both people and horses throughout the state,” Paul Ettestad, the department’s public health veterinarian, said.