For Immediate Release July 26, 2013
Rigo Leal, Public Information Officer, 303-651-8840
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Longmont's Spraying Efforts Significantly Reduced the West Nile Mosquito Threat
July 26, 2013 - The results from Longmont’s Wednesday mosquito trapping show that the City’s spraying efforts successfully reduced the number of mosquitoes that can carry the West Nile Virus (WNV).
The overall mosquito counts are down from previous results. More importantly the vector index for West Nile Virus dropped from 1.18 to 0.32, well below the 0.75 threshold.
The City of Longmont’s contractor, Colorado Mosquito Control, sprayed the entire city for West Nile infected mosquitoes on Friday, July 19 and again on Monday, July 22, 2013, based on recommendations from the Boulder County Health Department (BCPH) and the Colorado State Health and the Environment Department.
In their recommendation letter last week to the Longmont city manager, Boulder County health officials wrote in part:
- WNV infection rates among Culex mosquitoes have been rising sharply in Longmont during the past three weeks.
- The vector index (a calculation that helps indicate the risk of human WNV infection) has also risen sharply over this time period and has been above the threshold for the previous two weeks.
- According to our protocol, when the vector index reaches 0.75 or above, BCPH recommends that leaders in affected municipalities implement emergency spraying.
- The vector index for the week of July 7, was calculated at 1.38
- The vector index for the week of July 14, was calculated at 1.18
- WNV activity is considered widespread throughout Longmont, western Weld County, and other parts of Boulder County.
- The human impacts of infection with WNV can be minimal including fever up to severe neurological disease and death.
- We are also at the peak season with several weeks of potential transmission left in the year.
The City of Longmont is now back to its normal integrated pest management program. This program includes collecting and evaluating mosquito traps on Sunday nights and spot spraying (if necessary) on Wednesday nights in areas that have greater than 100 mosquitoes. Colorado Mosquito Control will be honoring shut-off request from residents.
WNV is a disease that can be transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. While most infections are mild, the more serious infections can cause encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) and/or meningitis (inflammation of the brain's lining), loss of vision, paralysis, coma, tremors, convulsions and in some cases, death.
There is no treatment, cure, or vaccination for WNV; health care providers can only treat the symptoms to help patients feel better and possibly recover more quickly. The only treatment available is prevention.
Public health officials remind residents that, as we enjoy these warm temperatures with outdoor activities, particularly at dusk and dawn, it is important that everyone take action to protect themselves by following ALL of the four Ds. The 4 D’s are:
DEET – Use DEET-enhanced insect repellant or alternative
Dress in long sleeves and pants
Dusk to dawn – Avoid the outdoors
Drain standing water outside the home
For more information about WNV, please visit the BCPH website at www.BoulderCountyMosquito.net. To ask specific questions, call the Colorado Health Education Line for the public at 1-877-462-2911 (available in Spanish and English).
If people suspect they have WNV symptoms, BCPH urges them to consult with their primary care physicians.
For information about West Nile virus, please visit Boulder County web site at www.bouldercountymosquito.net or call Boulder County Public Health Hotline at 303-441-1460 or visit www.ci.longmont.co.us/westnile.