West Nile virus detected in mosquitoes in Colorado for the first time this season

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WELD COUNTY, Colo. — West Nile virus has been detected in mosquitoes in Colorado for the first time this season, health officials said Wednesday.

Mosquito traps tested in Weld County came back positive for the virus. There are currently no human cases of the virus in the county at this time.

The county health department said mosquitoes are more prevalent than in previous years due to the increased hot weather and rain. The 2021 trapped mosquito count is over three times higher for this season, which typically runs from late April until mid-October

West Nile virus symptoms can appear 3-14 days after infection. Initial symptoms can include fever, headache, nausea and vomiting, muscle aches and weakness, and rash, but most infected people don’t show any symptoms.

To protect yourself against the West Nile Virus, remember the 4D’s:

  • Use DEET-enhanced insect repellent or alternative: Repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol products provide the best protection. Follow label instructions.
  • DRESS in long sleeves and pants: Wear protective clothing (long pants, long-sleeved shirts and socks) in areas where mosquitoes are active. Spray clothes with insect repellent for extra protection.
  • Avoid the outdoors from DUSK until DAWN: Limit outdoor activities at dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus are most active.
  • DRAIN standing water outside your home: Drain any standing water on your property. Mosquitoes breed in water, so items like bird baths, empty buckets, clogged gutters and kiddie pools should be drained regularly to keep mosquito populations down.