David Morgan
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Take Precautions to Prevent Mosquito Bites

June 11, 2014 - Zoonotic Disease - Awareness

Photo of a mosquito on human skin.

The New Mexico Department of Health is reminding New Mexicans to take precautions against mosquito bites. Infected mosquitoes can transmit West Nile Virus to humans.

In 2013, there were 38 confirmed cases of West Nile Virus in New Mexico, and 3 deaths. No cases have been reported so far in 2014. Cases have been reported as early as June, but peak time for West Nile in New Mexico is usually July and August. The number of West Nile cases fluctuates from year to year, and it’s difficult to predict how this season will shape up.

“Serious illness can occur in people of all ages if they are bitten by a mosquito infected with West Nile Virus. Older adults, especially those over 60 years of age, are more susceptible to developing serious complications from West Nile Virus,” said Department of Health Secretary Retta Ward, MPH. “It’s important for people to take precautions to prevent mosquito bites, especially between dusk and dawn, which is peak biting time for mosquitoes.”

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

“Mosquitoes can also transmit West Nile Virus to horses. Now is a good time for horse owners to contact their veterinarian about getting them vaccinated,” said state Public Health Veterinarian Paul Ettestad.

To protect you and your family from West Nile Virus infection:

For more information about West Nile Virus, including fact sheets in English and Spanish, go to the West Nile Virus section of our website.


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