Health officials worry Colorado flood could spread West Nile virus as mosquito population explodes

GREELEY, Colo. - Weld County officials say increased amounts of standing water from flooding are increasing concerns about a rapid growth of mosquitoes and an increased risk for contracting the deadly West Nile virus.

According to the Loveland Reporter-Herald, this week's forecast for hot weather could speed up the growing process for mosquitoes that transmit the disease, helping them mature from egg to adult in as little as a week.

Health officials say there have been about 100 human cases of West Nile in the state this year. At least one person has died.

Health officials say the symptoms of West Nile virus appear 3 to 14 days after exposure and include fever, body aches, neck stiffness, and disorientation.

Here's how to protect yourself against the West Nile Virus:

1. Use DEET-enhanced insect repellent or alternative.

2. Wear long sleeves and pants.

3. Avoid the outdoors from dusk until dawn.

4. Drain standing water outside your home.