Bernalillo County woman contracts West Nile virus

ALBUQUERQUE (AP) – Health officials say the first clinical case of West Nile virus has been confirmed in Bernalillo County. They say a 45-year-old woman was hospitalized briefly with the more severe neuro-invasive form of West Nile, but now is recovering.

Bernalillo County has also had one horse diagnosed with West Nile this year and the horse had to be euthanized.

West Nile can cause flu-like symptoms such as fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches.

Most people who become infected with the virus have either no symptoms or have only mild symptoms.

But a small percentage of infected people can develop meningitis or encephalitis.

Meningitis is an infection of the lining around the brain while encephalitis is an infection of the brain itself.

Both can be fatal, especially in the elderly.

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