Date of Award

11-20-2015

Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

M.S.

Keywords

West Nile virus (WNV), risk assessment, 65 and older population, Fort Collins, Colorado

Department

Geography

Abstract

West Nile virus (WNV) is an arbovirus whose more severe, neurologic symptoms may include seizures, paralysis, or coma. Despite a variety of possible symptoms, most people do not realize they are infected with the virus with a majority of those infected not developing any symptoms. Members of the population aged 65 and older naturally experience reduced immunity to viruses as they get older. Exposure to West Nile virus can occur around one’s home, in a park, natural area, alongside a source of water, or even walking along a trail. Areas exist around town that present risks of being infected or encountering large numbers of mosquitoes, which may present future infectious risk.

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