Health officials urge steps to avoid West Nile

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico health officials are urging residents to take steps to avoid contracting the West Nile virus, a potentially fatal neurological illness typically spread by mosquitoes.

No human cases have been confirmed in New Mexico this year but the threat of West Nile has increased with recent monsoon storms.,

State records indicate that New Mexico recorded 38 human cases of the virus in 2013. Those included three fatalities.

Officials in cities such as Albuquerque and Las Cruces recommend that residents to protect their skin and to reduce mosquitoes' breeding areas by draining standing water, mowing lawns and pulling weeds.

Fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches are common symptoms of West Nile.

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