1st case of West Nile virus confirmed in Colorado

Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 12:13 PM MDT
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DELTA COUNTY, Colo. (KKTV) - Grab your insect repellent, because West Nile is back in Colorado.

The state’s first case of year was confirmed last week in Delta County, and health officials say mosquitoes in at least three other counties -- Boulder, Larimer and Weld -- are carrying it.

“We urge Coloradans to protect themselves against West Nile virus,” said Dr. Natalie Marzec, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “This disease is spread primarily by mosquito bites.”

And prepare for the virus to be found in more and more areas of Colorado: August and September are when the most West Nile cases are reported in the state.

There are ways to protect yourself. Follow these tips by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE):

  • Use insect repellents when you go outdoors. Repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or para-menthane-diol products provide the best protection. For more information about insect repellents visit the EPA’s information webpage. Always follow label instructions.
  • Limit outdoor activities at dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and socks in areas where mosquitoes are active. Spray clothes with insect repellent for extra protection.
  • Mosquito proof your home by emptying water from tires, cans, flowerpots, clogged gutters, rain barrels, birdbaths, toys, and puddles at least once every week, and installing or repairing screens on windows and doors.

Most people who are infected do not show symptoms, but a sizeable minority can. According to CDPHE, about 20 percent of people with West Nile will exhibit flu-like symptoms, while 1 percent can develop a more serious, even life-threatening illness. Those most at risk are people over 60 and people with certain medical conditions.

More information cam be found here.

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