5 Colorado Counties Test Positive For West Nile
For the first time in the 2014 season, West Nile infected mosquitoes have been found in 5 Colorado counties.
Adams, Boulder, Delta, Mesa and Weld counties have all had mosquito traps test positive in areas of each county.
Lab manager for the Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment Cheryl Darnell said they found more mosquitoes in general due to the standing flood water, but not an increase in the Culex mosquito, which is the species that carries the West Nile virus.
"But it does indicate that West Nile is in our area, so we need to protect ourselves."
“There’s only a certain type of mosquito that is able to carry disease, those are the only ones that we test. And the numbers of that type of mosquito was not really elevated, but we had some that were positive in those two tests,” Darnell said.
No human cases of West Nile have been reported in Colorado so far this season – which typically runs from the beginning of June through the end of August.
“Usually it’s more into July when we start seeing this. In this next trapping we may not see any positives for a while, we just don’t really know since it’s so early in the season,” Darnell said. “But it does indicate that West Nile is in our area, so we need to protect ourselves.”
Health officials stress the use of repellant and to avoid being out at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active. Initial symptoms of the virus can include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting and muscle aches.