13-year-old boy diagnosed with West Nile

Posted at: 07/29/2013 12:37 PM
Updated at: 07/29/2013 12:40 PM
By: Elizabeth Reed, KOB.com

The first case of West Nile this year has been identified in the state.

A 13-year-old boy in San Juan County was diagnosed, the department of health reports.

The teen was hospitalized for a short time, but he's home now recovering.

“Serious illness can occur in people of all ages. However, it’s important to remember that older adults, especially those over 60 years of age, are more susceptible to developing serious complications from West Nile Virus, and they need to be especially careful to avoid mosquito bites,” said Department of Health Cabinet Secretary Retta Ward, MPH.

Last year, the health department identified 47 cases of West Nile in New Mexico. One person died.

Common West Nile Virus symptoms are fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches. If someone has these symptoms, they should see their health care provider. In rare cases, West Nile Virus can infect the brain and cause meningitis or encephalitis that can have lasting effects.

To protect against West Nile Virus:

•Use insect repellent on exposed skin and clothing when you go outdoors. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends using insect repellents containing DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535 for use on skin, and permethrin for use on clothing. Always follow label directions when using insect repellents.
•When weather permits, wear protective clothing such as loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirts, long pants and socks.
•The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for mosquitoes. Take extra care to use repellent and protective clothing or avoid outdoor activities during these times.
•Eliminate water-holding containers where mosquitoes lay their eggs, such as old tires. Regularly change the water in birdbaths, wading pools and pet water bowls. Make sure rain barrels are tightly screened.
•Keep windows and doors closed if not screened. If you leave your house doors or windows open, make sure they have screens that fit tightly and have no holes.