DENVER – The West Nile Virus has now been detected in three Colorado counties this year, according to new information from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
The findings come after one pool of mosquitos collected from traps set during the first week of July tested positive for the virus in Weld County.
“Although the risk of WNV is currently low, the hotter days in July and August create perfect conditions for the Culex mosquito and WNV,” said Erick Aakko, a spokesperson for the CDPHE in Greeley.
The CDPHE confirmed just two weeks ago that the first human case of the virus was reported in Jefferson County. The announcement came after the first case of the season was reported in Larimer County in late June.
The state of Colorado saw 149 human cases of the virus last year. Eight of those cases were fatal.
Most people who are infected with West Nile virus don’t have symptoms. About 20 percent have flu-like symptoms, and fewer than one percent develop a serious, potentially deadly illness. People over age 60 and those with certain medical conditions are at greater risk of serious illness.
State health officials offer the following tips on ways to protect yourself from the virus.
- Use insect repellents when you go outdoors. Repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol products provide the best protection. Follow label instructions.
- Limit outdoor activities at dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus are most active.
protective clothing (long pants, long-sleeved shirts and socks) in areas where mosquitoes are active. Spray clothes with insect repellent for extra protection.
West Nile Virus is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. Generally, mosquito season runs from late April until mid-October.