BRIGHTON, Colo. (CBS4) – The Tri-County Health Department has confirmed the first West Nile virus-infected mosquito in Brighton this year. The virus was also confirmed in mosquitoes in Adams and Weld County, although no human cases have been reported in the state.

(Photo by Tom Ervin/Getty Images)

“This first positive mosquito is a good reminder for people to protect themselves from mosquito bites and to eliminate mosquito breeding areas around their home,” said John M. Douglas, Jr. MD, Executive Director of TCHD. “Everyone should take precautions since West Nile virus is preventable by protecting yourself against mosquito bites.”

Birds can carry the West Nile virus long distances, and the mosquitoes that bite these birds can then infect humans. About 1 in 5 people who are infected develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. About 1 in 150 people who are infected develop a severe illness affecting the central nervous system, with complications including encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis, and in rare cases, death.

As part of its mosquito control program, the City of Brighton is placing Larvicide in standing water ponds and setting up traps throughout the city to monitor mosquito populations and test for the existence of West Nile virus. Once the population reaches a certain threshold, city officials will fog the neighborhood.

West Nile Virus Prevention Tips:
● Eliminate standing water in rain gutters, old tires, buckets, plastic covers, toys, or any other container of water where mosquitoes can breed
● Stay inside at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active or avoid mosquito bites if outside
● Keep mosquitoes away from exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, shoes and socks
● Use an EPA-registered mosquito repellent
● Mosquito-proof your home by repairing screens on windows and doors

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