Mosquitoes in Fort Collins have tested positive for West Nile virus for the first time this season. Mosquito traps in the northeast and southeast section of town revealed Culex mosquitoes infected with the disease.
The vector index, or measure of infected mosquitoes, is 0.03 citywide. Before the city will consider adulticiding the vector index must be 0.75 in any of the four zones and there must be two confirmed human cases. The County has a lower threshold for action and may initiate an application earlier per the Director of the Health and Environment Department’s recommendation.
WNV is a disease that is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. The symptoms of West Nile range from none to very serious. With the presence of the disease residents are encouraged to protect themselves using the Four D’s: Drain, Dress, DEET, Dusk through dawn.
• Drain – Mosquitoes breed in water! Drain any standing water in your yard each week. Bird baths, clogged gutters and kiddie pools are common breeding sites.
• Dress – Wear lightweight, long-sleeved shirts and long pants while outdoors. Spray clothing with insect repellent since mosquitoes may bite through clothing.
• DEET – Apply insect repellent sparingly to exposed skin. Use an approved repellent according to its label. To find the repellent that is right for you visit cfpub.epa.gov/oppref/insect/#searchform.
• Dawn/Dusk – Limit time spent outdoors at dusk through dawn, when mosquitoes are most active and feeding.
While there are no guarantees that you will not get WNV, using the Four D’s helps minimize the risk. To learn more about WNV and how to protect your family visit fcgov.com/westnile.