June 19: Mosquito surveillance confirms West Nile virus circulating in Colorado
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 19, 2014
Mark Salley, Communications Director
Mosquito surveillance confirms West Nile virus circulating in Colorado
DENVER – The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reported today that mosquitoes collected in Adams, Boulder, Delta, Mesa and Weld counties are carrying West Nile virus. The department expects more counties to find infected mosquitoes as the summer progresses.
State health officials advised Colorado residents to take precautions against West Nile virus by wearing insect repellent and using other methods to avoid mosquito bites when outdoors. Last year, Colorado reported 322 cases of West Nile virus disease, including seven deaths.
Jennifer House, state public health veterinarian, explained, “Although we can't predict how much West Nile virus activity will occur this summer, it is unusual for Colorado to have this many mosquito pools testing positive for the virus this early in the season.”
To help prevent West Nile virus infection, follow the four D’s:
· DRAIN standing water around your house weekly. Don’t forget to drain water from tires, cans, flowerpots, clogged rain gutters, rain barrels, toys and puddles.
· DUSK and DAWN are when mosquitoes that carry the virus are most active. Limit outdoor activities or take precautions to prevent mosquito bites during these times.
· DEET is an effective ingredient to look for in insect repellents. Always follow label instructions carefully.
· DRESS in long sleeves and pants in areas where mosquitoes are active.