There have been 13 infections and one death from West Nile virus this summer

To protect yourself, drain standing water weekly, and when you’re outside, use bug spray with DEET and cover open skin.

CHLOE
The Department of Public Health and Environment provided this cheat sheet for West Nile safety. (Courtesy of CDPHE)

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment provided this cheat sheet for West Nile safety. (Courtesy of CDPHE)

West Nile season is here.

The Department of Public Health and Environment announced Wednesday that 13 people have been diagnosed with the virus this summer, including one who died.

People, animals and mosquitos in Denver county and 13 others have tested positive for West Nile so far. State officials said they expect to see more cases as the summer progresses.

“Although we can’t predict how much more West Nile virus activity will occur this summer, we know the virus is present, and that means people are at risk,” state public health veterinarian Jennifer House said in a statement.

Colorado has seen cases of West Nile virus every year since 2002. Last year 101 people were diagnosed. Symptoms of the virus include fever, headache, stiff neck, disorientation and, in extreme cases, dementia or death.

To protect yourself and your family from West Nile virus, the health department recommends draining standing water weekly, limiting outdoor activity during dusk and dawn and, when outside, using bug spray with DEET and covering open skin.

Multimedia business & healthcare reporter Chloe Aiello can be reached via email at caiello@denverite.com or twitter.com/chlobo_ilo.

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