FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) – The first case of West Nile Virus in Colorado in 2017 has been reported.
Last year, eight people died out of the 149 human cases of West Nile.
“When the virus is present, people are at risk,” said Jennifer House, state public health veterinarian, in a statement. “Protecting yourself is the No. 1 way to avoid getting any mosquito-borne illness. Use an effective insect repellent, wear protective clothing or stay indoors when mosquitoes are active, and mosquito-proof your home.”
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said that statewide testing for mosquitoes with the virus began June 12. Virus-positive cases were found in Larimer County. But, since not all counties test, it’s important to take preventative steps throughout the summer.
They suggest several ways to protect both yourself and your home:
- Use insect repellents when you go outdoors. Repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol products provide the best protection. Follow label instructions.
- Limit outdoor activities at dusk and down, when mosquitoes that carry West Nile are most active.
- Wear protective clothing (long pants, long-sleeved shirts and socks) in areas where mosquitoes are active. Spray clothes with insect repellent for extra protection.
- Drain standing water around your house often. Empty water from tires, cans, flowerpots, clogged gutters, rain barrels, birdbaths, toys, and puddles.
- Install or repair screens on windows and doors.