FARMINGTON — A San Juan County woman diagnosed with West Nile virus is the first human case of the mosquito-born illness in New Mexico this year.
The 45-year-old woman was not hospitalized and is at home recovering, according to a press release from the New Mexico Department of Health.
The illness includes flu-like symptoms such as fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches, according to the press release.
The majority of people infected show mild or no symptoms, but some develop meningitis or encephalitis. The two infections can be fatal and affect the brain.
West Nile virus is most common during August and September because of the rain and water levels, according to the press release.
Already this year, two horses have been diagnosed with West Nile. One of the horses was from San Juan County. Both were euthanized because of the illness.
To decrease the risk of contracting the virus, eliminate water-holding containers and regularly change water in birdbaths, wading pools and pets' water bowls. Make sure rain barrels are tightly screened and use insect repellent when you go outside.
Last year, there were 38 cases of West Nile in the state, including three fatalities, according to the press release.