For Immediate Release June 21, 2013
Chana Goussetis, Boulder County Public Health, 303-441-1457,
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Mosquitoes in Longmont Test Positive for West Nile Virus
June 21, 2013 - Boulder, Colo. – A mosquito pool collected on June 17 from multiple traps in Longmont have tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). This is the first positive pool in Boulder County so far this season. To date, mosquito pools in two other Colorado counties - Larimer and Mesa - have also tested positive for the virus.
"This positive sample serves as a reminder that although counts of Culex mosquitoes (the type of mosquito that carries WNV) remain low, risk of transmission of the virus still exists,” said Marshall Lipps, Boulder County Public Health environmental health specialist. "Taking steps to protect yourself and your loved ones from being bitten by a mosquito is the best way to reduce your risk of getting the virus.”
Culex mosquitoes increase in number as temperatures rise. Human infections can occur without symptoms and can cause mild or severe illness, including fever, extreme fatigue, head and body aches; and can lead to chronic disability, including tremors, vision loss, and paralysis; or even death.
"It’s easy to forget that West Nile virus is still a concern since we haven’t seen many cases in recent years,” said Lipps. “But every one of us is at risk for the disease, regardless of where we live in the state, and we should continue to protect ourselves from mosquitoes.”
Boulder County Public Health officials urge residents to take necessary precautions to protect themselves. Keep safe this summer, and remember the 4Ds:
1. Use DEET-enhanced insect repellent or alternative.
2. DRESS in long sleeves and pants.
3. Avoid the outdoors from DUSK until DAWN.
4. DRAIN standing water outside your home.
As of June 18, five human cases of WNV have been reported in the U.S.: California (1), Mississippi (1), Tennessee (1), and Texas (2). Generally, the mosquito season extends from late April until mid-October, with the end usually signaled by the first freeze in the fall.
For more information about West Nile virus, mosquito activity in Boulder County, or steps you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones, visit the Boulder County Public Health website at www.BoulderCountyMosquito.net.
See additional tips at www.ci.longmont.co.us/westnile.