WELD COUNTY, Colo. – Two more adults in Colorado contracted the West Nile virus this week – the first cases reported in Weld County this year, according to the county’s department of public health and environment.
Mosquito traps in the county found the vector index, or the calculation that determines human risk for West Nile virus infection, had exceeded 0.75 – the number that indicates an increased risk for human infection, spokeswoman Kelly Martinez said in a news release.
The disease can appear two to 14 days after a bite from an infected mosquito, she said. Initial symptoms can include fever, headache, nausea and vomiting, muscle aches and weakness and rash. Most infected people, however, do not exhibit any symptoms. There are no medications to treat, or vaccines to prevent, West Nile virus infection.
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, head over to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s website.
Two other human cases were reported Monday in Larimer County.