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Mosquitoes test positive for West Nile Virus at Fort Collins for the first time this season



DENVER mosquito traps at Fort Collins, Weld County and the city of Berthoud were tested for the first time this year on the West Nile virus, health officials said Wednesday.

While the risk remains low, the authorities said the traps revealed culex mosquitoes that were infected with the disease.

City officials said the vector index – the way in which infected mosquitoes are measured – is 0.004 across the city. Before the city considers spraying mosquitoes, the vector index must be 0.75 in each of the four zones in which the traps were set up.

The West Nile virus is a disease transmitted by mosquitoes to humans. The symptoms range from none to very serious. To protect yourself from the West Nile virus, remember the 4D:

  • Use DEET-enhanced insect repellent or alternative: repellent with DEET, picaridine, IR3535 and some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane Diol products offer the best protection. Follow the instructions on the label
  • DRESS in long sleeves and pants: Wear protective clothing (long pants, long-sleeved shirts and socks) in areas where mosquitoes are active. Spray clothing with insect repellent for extra protection.
  • Avoid the Nature from DUSK to DAWN: Limit outdoor activities at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus are the most active.
  • DRAIN Stagnant Water Outside Your Home: Drain stagnant water on your property. Mosquitoes breed in the water, so items such as bird baths, empty buckets, clogged gutters and children's pools should be drained regularly to keep mosquito populations low.

Generally, the mosquito season lasts from late April to mid-October. For more information about the West Nile virus, visit the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment website.


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