HAE

This week the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment confirmed the first case of West Nile fever in a Larimer County resident in 2018. A second potential case is under investigation. Human case reports usually peak in August and September.

Mosquito numbers are abundant in many areas of the County. It is a good time to remind people to protect themselves from West Nile virus by taking steps to avoid being bitten. That can easily be done by using an effective repellent or staying indoors when mosquitoes are biting. 

Trapping mosquitoes to monitor for West Nile virus risk began in June in Larimer County. West Nile disease is a viral infection which is spread to people by bites from infected Culex mosquitoes. Symptoms can range from none at all to severe illness. About 75% of people who are infected are asymptomatic; about 25% will develop West Nile fever.  Less than 1% develop the more severe neuroinvasive form, which can lead to hospitalization, critical illness, chronic disability, or even death. 

The county health department works with our cities, a mosquito abatement company (Vector Disease Control International, formerly called Colorado Mosquito Control), and Colorado State University experts to monitor and assess the risk to Larimer County residents.

West Nile virus can be prevented. In addition to community efforts, such as larviciding, reducing water where mosquitoes can breed, and spraying for adult mosquitoes, individuals can remember to use the 4 D’s to help prevent West Nile virus disease:

  • Defend Use DEET or other effective mosquito repellent - Use an EPA-registered mosquito repellent that has been proven to be effective against West Nile virus-carrying mosquitoes.  DEET, Picaridin, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (also called p-menthane-3,8-diol or PMD) and IR3535 are good choices.
  • Dusk to Dawn - Avoid exposure during peak Culex mosquito feeding times, from dusk through dawn.
  • Dress - Wear long sleeves and pants to keep mosquitoes from biting.
  • Drain – Remove standing water in your yard or garden to minimize mosquito breeding areas.

For more tips on what you can do to prevent West Nile virus, visit Larimer.org/westnile

Published on: 
Wednesday, August 8, 2018 - 2:42pm
Contact Details: 

Katie O'Donnell
970-646-1756
kodonnell@larimer.org

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