SANTA FE - Two patients with West Nile virus have been identified by the New Mexico Department of Health (DOH) in the past week. Both patients, one from Lea County and one from Sandoval County, were hospitalized and are recovering. In addition, one horse from Sierra County has also been diagnosed with West Nile virus.  It is important to vaccinate horses to protect them from West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne diseases.  

To protect yourself from West Nile virus infection:  

  • Use an approved insect repellent every time you go outside and follow the instructions on the label. Among the EPA-approved repellents are those that contain DEET, picaridin, IR3535 and oil of lemon eucalyptus/para-menthane-diol.  
  • Eliminate water-holding containers where mosquitoes lay their eggs, such as old tires, empty cans, and other unneeded outdoor items that can hold water. 
  • Drain the water in birdbaths, wading pools, and saucers under potted plants weekly. 
  • Make sure rain barrels are tightly screened.  
  • Wear long sleeves and pants at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.  
  • 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. 

Symptoms of the milder form of illness, West Nile fever, can include headache, fever, muscle and joint aches, nausea and fatigue. People with West Nile fever typically recover on their own, although symptoms may last for weeks to months. Symptoms of West Nile neuroinvasive disease can include those of West Nile fever plus neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness and paralysis. 

For more information about West Nile virus, including fact sheets in English and Spanish, go to the DOH’s West Nile webpage.

Since the start of the outbreak (5/17/2023), 200 VSV-affected premises have been identified (68 confirmed positive, 132 suspect) in 3 states, California, Nevada, and Texas.  California has identified 197 affected premises (65 confirmed positive, 132 suspect) in 9 counties (Fresno, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura Counties).  Texas has identified 2 affected premises (2 confirmed positive) in 2 counties (Maverick and Shackelford Counties).  Nevada has identified 1 affected premises (1 confirmed positive) in 1 county (White Pine County, Nevada).  Of the 200 total VSV-affected premises, 183 premises have completed the quarantine period with no new clinical cases and have been released from quarantine.  Seventeen (17) premises remain quarantined.

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