COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (CBS4)– A Commerce City resident has tested positive for West Nile Virus. The Tri-County Health Department was notified of the case on Monday.

A culex tarsalis mosquito (credit: nathistoc.bio.uci.edu)

The individual experienced West Nile Virus fever, which generally includes a fever and other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or a rash. The person who tested positive for West Nile has been released from the hospital and will continue to recover at home.

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This latest human case of West Nile Virus follows reports of 15 human cases so far this year with 7 people requiring hospitalization. West Nile Virus has been found in 11 counties in Colorado, including Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Denver, Jefferson, Larimer, and Weld counties in the Front Range.

“We completely understand that the last thing anyone wants to do is worry about another virus,” said Brian Hlavacek, Tri-County Health Department environmental health director in a statement. “Fortunately, there are simple steps we can all take to reduce the chances of getting infected with West Nile virus.”

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(credit: CBS)

According to Tri-County Health, the best protection against West Nile virus is to follow the 4 Ds:

  • DRAIN standing water around your house weekly. Remember to drain water from tires, cans, flowerpots, clogged rain gutters, rain barrels, toys, and puddles.
  • DUSK and DAWN are when mosquitoes are most active. Limit outdoor activities and take precautions to prevent mosquito bites during these times.
  • DEET is an effective ingredient to look for in insect repellents. Other repellents containing picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or para-menthane-diol are also effective against mosquitoes. Always follow the product label instructions carefully.
  • DRESS in long sleeves and pants, and a hat, in areas where mosquitoes are active.

That is watch out during dawn and dusk hours, draining standing water, dressing to cover up, and using Deet or bug repellent.

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Some have also wondered if mosquitoes can carry coronavirus, CBS4 has reported on that in the past, experts say it’s highly unlikely.

Jennifer McRae