The first positive West Nile virus pools of mosquitoes have been found in Larimer County as mosquito numbers rise in many areas of the County.
Mosquitoes positive with West Nile virus were located in Northeast and Southeast Fort Collins, Loveland and Berthoud. Additionally, no human cases of the West Nile virus have been reported yet within the state.
Trapping and monitoring of mosquitoes for West Nile virus began in June in Larimer County, as the virus spreads to people by bites from infected Culex mosquitoes. Also, symptoms can range from none to severe illness.
The Larimer County Department of Health and Environment works with cities, mosquito abatement company Vector Disease Control International and Colorado State University to monitor and assess the risk for Larimer County residents. Nevertheless, the West Nile virus can be prevented through the reduction of water where mosquitos can breed, spraying for adult mosquitos and larviciding.
The 4 D’s to help prevent West Nile virus disease is as follows:
- Defend – Use DEET or other effective mosquito repellents – Use an EPA-registered mosquito repellent that has been proven to be effective against West Nile virus-carrying mosquitoes. DEET, Picaridin, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (also called p-menthane-3,8-diol or PMD) and IR3535 are effective choices.
- Dusk to Dawn – Avoid exposure during peak Culex mosquito feeding times, from dusk through dawn.
- Dress – Wear long sleeves and pants to keep mosquitoes from biting.
- Drain – Remove standing water in your yard or garden to minimize mosquito breeding areas.
For more information regarding what you can do to prevent West Nile virus, visit: Larimer.org/westnile