West Nile virus found in Weld, Delta and Larimer coun­ties

Only one per­son has con­tracted dis­ease so far this year

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Danika Wor­thing­ton

West Nile virus was de­tected in mosquitoes in Weld County in the first week of July, adding to those al­ready found in Larimer and Delta coun­ties.

De­spite this, there has only been one re­ported case of a per­son con­tract­ing the dis­ease this year, in Jef­fer­son County. Last year, the state had 149 re­ported hu­man cases, which in­cluded eight deaths, ac­cord­ing to the Colorado Depart­ment of Pub­lic Health and En­vi­ron­ment.

The virus risk is low, but the Weld County Depart­ment of Pub­lic Health and En­vi­ron­ment warned that hot­ter days in July and Au­gust are per­fect con­di­tions for the Culex mosquito and the virus. Mosquitoes that carry West Nile are most ac­tive at dusk and dawn.

Re­ports of new cases typ­i­cally ramp up by late June and early July, peak in Au­gust and de­cline in Septem­ber, ac­cord­ing to Colorado health depart­ment data.

About 75 per­cent of peo­ple in­fected with West Nile virus don’t show symp­toms, ac­cord­ing to the Larimer County Depart­ment of Health and En­vi­ron­ment. Only about 25 per­cent of in­fected peo­ple de­velop West Nile fever. Of those, fewer than 1 per­cent de­velop the se­vere neu­roin­va­sive form that can lead to hos­pi­tal­iza­tion, crit­i­cal ill­ness, chronic dis­abil­ity or death.

West Nile safety tips: • Use in­sect re­pel­lent. Re­pel­lents with DEET, pi­caridin, IR3535 and some oil of lemon eu­ca­lyp­tus and para-men­thane-diol pro­vide the best pro­tec­tion.

• Limit time out­doors at dusk and dawn.

• Wear pants, longsleeved shirts and socks where mosquitoes are ac­tive. Spray clothes with re­pel­lent.

• Drain stand­ing wa­ter. Empty wa­ter from tires, cans, flow­er­pots, clogged gut­ters, rain bar­rels, bird­baths, toys and pud­dles.

• In­stall or re­pair screens on win­dows and doors.

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