Three cases of the virus have been confirmed in the county this year and 26 cases statewide, including one fatality, according to the New Mexico Department of Health.
A 32-year-old woman and a 70-year-old woman from San Juan County were among the five cases of West Nile Virus the health department said were confirmed since Sept. 11, according to a news release from the New Mexico Department of Health.
Both of the women have developed encephalitis and meningitis as a result of the virus, Kenny Vigil, a spokesman for the health department, said in a news release.
West Nile Virus is a mosquito-born illness that has appeared in New Mexico each year since 2003.
The virus causes fever, nausea, and head and muscle aches. Serious forms of the virus can cause meningitis or encephalitis, which are conditions that cause damaging inflammation in the brain and spinal cord.
Meningitis or encephalitis can happen in elderly people or people with a history of health problems contracts the disease, said Penny Hill said, the infection control manager for the hospital.
The 76-year-old man from Bernalillo County who died as a result of the West Nile Virus this year had developed encephalitis and meningitis.
"We have seen West Nile Virus cases in many different areas of New Mexico in the last month," Dr. Catherine Torres, the cabinet secretary for the health
To prevent the spread of the virus, the health department is urging people to wear insect repellent and protective clothing when outside, especially at dawn and dusk.
The department also suggested people get rid of water-holding containers in which mosquitoes lay eggs, keep windows and doors closed, and vaccinate horses.