NMDOH Reports First West Nile Case in San Juan County
San Juan County has already begun treating for mosquitoes around the county.
Aztec, NM— The New Mexico Department of Health is reporting the first human case of West Nile virus in San Juan County.
The case presented on April 27, 2020, and San Juan County was notified by the NMDOH on May 20, 2020. There is no specific information about the patient or location of the source of the infection available. San Juan County Vector Control is working with the New Mexico Department of Health to identify and treat areas of concern.
San Juan County Vector Control staff began regular treatment for mosquito larva on April 13, 2020, and treatment for adult mosquitoes on May 13, 2020.
San Juan County Vector Control crews will begin trapping and testing mosquitoes for West Nile next week.
San Juan County Vector Control performs regular treatment to target larva and adult mosquitoes. The goal is to reduce the overall mosquito population. Vector control targets problem areas on public property and areas on private property, at the owner’s request and permission.
There are ways to reduce exposure to mosquitoes. Property owners can eliminate places for mosquitoes to breed and those going outside around dawn and dusk can protect themselves.
Mosquitoes lay their eggs in stagnant water. Property owners can reduce mosquito breeding by draining any standing water. Look for areas that may hold rainwater, like tires and empty buckets, and drain areas where irrigation water may collect. Mosquitoes can breed in water collected in a bottle cap. Water in one tire can be the breeding ground for as many as one million mosquitoes in a typical season.
To protect yourself, use DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535 insect repellent on exposed skin when you go outdoors. Use permethrin to treat clothing, and cover as much skin as you can. Always follow label directions for the repellant. Keep windows and doors closed if not screened. Screens must be tight with no holes to be effective.
Common West Nile virus symptoms are fever, nausea, headache, and muscle aches. If someone has these symptoms, they should see their health care provider. People older than 60 are at most risk for complication from West Nile.
Vector control will continue to test mosquitoes for various diseases throughout the season. Mosquitoes will continue to breed until a hard frost kills the breeding adults.
If you want to request mosquito treatment on your property, call the Vector Control Office at (505) 334-6775. San Juan County Vector Control only treats unincorporated areas of the county and, by contract, areas in the city of Aztec.
More from NMDOH: https://www.nmhealth.org/news/alert/2020/5/?view=969