West Nile virus found in Weld, Delta and Larimer counties
Only one person has contracted disease so far this year
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.