Season for West Nile virus continues in Colorado

DENVER, Colo. — As summer comes to an end, the state health department is reminding you to continue protecting yourself from mosquito bites to avoid West Nile virus.

There have been six human cases of the virus reported in Colorado so far this year in Adams, Boulder, Jefferson, Morgan and Phillips Counties.

“The biggest months for human West Nile virus cases in Colorado are August and September,” said Jennifer House, state public health veterinarian. “When vacations are over, and the kids go back to school, it’s easy to forget mosquitoes are still out in force. We want to remind people to keep using insect repellent and other methods to avoid mosquito bites.”

There have been no deaths this season, and the six people in Colorado are now recovering. A number of other suspected cases are being investigated, according to the state health department.

In addition to human cases, two horses and 12 birds have been identified with the virus in Larimer and Weld Counties.

Officials say this year, mosquito pools in Adams, Alamosa, Arapahoe, Boulder, Delta, Denver, Jefferson, Larimer, Mesa and Weld counties have tested positive for West Nile virus.

The state health department issued the following tips to protect yourself against West Nile 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.
  • Wear protective clothing (long pants, long-sleeved shirts and socks) in areas where mosquitoes are active. Spray clothes with insect repellent for extra protection.
  • Drain standing water around your house often.

For more information, visit the department’s website. You can check for human case numbers and mosquito trap results on the West Nile virus data page.


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