Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Sun, July 05

Protecting the Rez against West Nile virus<br>

“We’ve had our eye on this (West Nile virus) for over a year,” Freeman said. “Now it’s at our doorstep.”

Officials are urging the public to be cautious of standing water or large puddles around their homes. Also, they suggested using insect repellant containing a chemical called DEETS.

“You don’t have to wait for us to come around,” said Davis. “If you can, go to a veterinarian and have them vaccinate your horse now. Once the horses are vaccinated, they will have to be vaccinated again three weeks after the first shot.”

The disease has been blamed for nearly 300 deaths in humans in the United States since it first appeared on the East Coast four years ago. It causes flu-like symptoms and swelling of the brain in humans.

According to the CDC, Colorado has the most human West Nile cases of any state and more than a third of the country’s total. Arizona is one of the last states in the country to have a reported case.

(George Joe is Senior Public Information Officer for the Navajo Division of Health.)

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