DENVER – Mosquitoes traps in Fort Collins, Weld County and the Town of Berthoud have tested positive for West Nile Virus for the first time this season, health officials said Wednesday.
While the risk remains low, officials said, the traps revealed Culex mosquitoes infected with the disease.
City officials said the vector index – the manner in which infected mosquitoes are measured – is 0.004 citywide. Before the city considers spraying for mosquitoes, the vector index has to be 0.75 in any of the four zones where the traps have been set.
The West Nile Virus is a disease that is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. Symptoms range from none to very serious. To protect yourself against the West Nile Virus, remember the 4D’s:
- Use DEET-enhanced insect repellent or alternative: Repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol products provide the best protection. Follow label instructions.
- DRESS in long sleeves and pants: Wear protective clothing (long pants, long-sleeved shirts and socks) in areas where mosquitoes are active. Spray clothes with insect repellent for extra protection.
- Avoid the outdoors from DUSK until DAWN: Limit outdoor activities at dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus are most active.
- DRAIN standing water outside your home: Drain any standing water on your property. Mosquitoes breed in water, so items like bird baths, empty buckets, clogged gutters and kiddie pools should be drained regularly to keep mosquito populations down.
Generally, mosquito season runs from late April until mid-October. For more information on West Nile virus, log on to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s website.