HEALTH ALERT: West Nile virus confirmed in Pueblo

Mosquitoes tested positive for West Nile in Pueblo in late July 2019. Photo courtesy: Franco Patrizia/MGN
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PUEBLO, Colo. (KKTV) - Residents in Pueblo County need to be aware of a health alert issued on Thursday.

Pueblo County Public Health Officials confirmed mosquitoes tested positive for West Nile Virus in Pueblo. These are the first mosquito to test positive in Colorado during 2019. The public is urged to protect themselves from mosquitoes. The recent rainfall and high temperatures resulted in an increased number of mosquitoes, according to county officials.

“It is important individuals take precautions to avoid mosquitoes and protect themselves from West Nile virus. Mosquitoes collected in Pueblo have tested positive for West Nile virus. Mosquitoes throughout Pueblo have West Nile virus and this is a risk to people, “said Chad Wolgram program manager at the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment. Wolgram added, “So far, no human cases have been confirmed in Pueblo this year.”

INFORMATION FROM THE PUEBLO DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENT:

After West Nile virus enters the body from a mosquito bite, symptoms may develop in 2-14 days. West Nile virus can affect any age group.

Most people with West Nile virus do not develop symptoms; however, some people will have a fever which may include headache, muscle pain, joint pain, rash, or diarrhea. Some infected persons experience a feeling of extreme tiredness and weakness for several weeks. Promptly seek medical attention from a physician if you have any of these symptoms.

Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment advises all individuals to protect themselves and their families from West Nile virus by following the Four D’s:

-DRAIN: Eliminate standing water in pools, ponds, tires or similar water-holding containers as these may serve as mosquito breeding sites. Change the water in pet dishes, birdbaths, and flower pots, weekly.

-DUSK AND DAWN: Avoid outdoor activities, such as gardening, at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.

-DEET: Picaridin, IR3535, and oil of lemon eucalyptus are also effective ingredients to look for in insect repellents. Always follow label instructions for application.

-DRESS: If outside during periods when mosquitoes are most active, cover up by wearing long-sleeved shirts, pants, shoes and socks.

The City and County of Pueblo contract with Vector Disease Control International for mosquito control activities. For complaints regarding mosquito activity, stagnant bodies of water or request for mosquito spraying, please call 719-671-2898.