SUPERIOR, Colo. — Mosquitoes in Superior, Louisville, and Longmont have tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV).
Boulder County Public Health (BCPH) confirmed that the positive mosquito pools came from traps near Coal Creek Golf Course and Coal Creek Trail in Louisville, Original Town in Superior, and Isaak Walton Park and St. Vrain Greenway in Longmont.
The vector index, which describes the relative risk of West Nile virus transmission, is 0.21 for Zone 3 (Superior and Louisville combined) and 0.20 for Zone 2 (Longmont). Emergency spraying may be recommended when the vector index reaches 0.75 or higher, according to BCPH.
WNV is transmitted to humans from the bite of an infected mosquito, and while most infections are mild, more serious infections can cause inflammation of the brain and/or meningitis, loss of vision, paralysis, coma, tremors, convulsions, and death, said BCPH.
“Even though it can be inconvenient, taking steps to protect ourselves and loved ones is the best thing we can all do to prevent becoming very ill,” said Marshall Lipps, Boulder County Public Health environmental health specialist. “Our recent high temperatures and standing water have created the ideal environment for mosquitos to breed.
There is no treatment, cure, or human vaccination for the virus.
Colorado's health department reported the state's first case of West Nile virus this year on Friday, Aug. 14.
To protect yourself:
- 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 dawn, when mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus 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.
To mosquito-proof your home:
- 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.
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