Department: Health & Environment
Release Date: Jul 29, 2014
Fort Collins, CO -- The Larimer County Department of Health and Environment reports that mosquitoes infected with West Nile virus were trapped in Loveland and Fort Collins between July 20-24, making these the first positive samples in Larimer County in 2014.
Three out of 43 traps tested from Fort Collins, and two traps out of ten traps tested from Loveland, contained mosquitoes confirmed to carry West Nile virus (WNV).
Loveland has already done some mosquito spraying in high-risk areas. The Health Department will be reaching out in Fort Collins to homeowner’s associations to encourage them to spray if the threat increases, since the city’s policy will likely preclude timely spraying in high-risk areas. In Fort Collins, the mosquitoes that can spread WNV were running nearly 3 times the annual average for the past week.
Generally it is in July that the first Culex mosquitoes infected with West Nile virus are identified in area traps. Once the first infected mosquitoes are present and start biting the neighborhood birds, the cycle of mosquito-bird-mosquito infections can rapidly increase the threat of infection to people during July and August. Numbers of infected mosquitoes usually begin to decline in late August and early September, but human cases have occurred as late as early October. Some people infected with West Nile disease can show no symptoms at all or they may have mild to serious illness that, in some cases, can lead to chronic disabilities or even death.
People over 50, and people with cancer, diabetes, hypertension and kidney disease are at increased risk of serious illness if they become infected with West Nile virus. Those with organ transplants may also be at increased risk. However, anyone may become infected and sickened by a West Nile virus-carrying mosquito.
“The surest way to prevent getting West Nile virus is to avoid mosquito bites” said LeBailly.
Both individual and community actions can help prevent mosquito-transmitted infections. For individuals, the Health Department recommends the following:
For more tips on what you can do to prevent West Nile virus, or on repellent use, visit: http://larimer.org/health/cd/westnile.asp or call 498-6700.
Additional information: See map for mosquitoes trapped in Fort Collins from July 20-24, 2014. All traps are tested weekly.
There is no equivalent map for Loveland, since only 8-10 of its 35 light traps are tested per week for WNV infection due to the cost.