THORNTON, Colo. — Mosquitoes infected with the West Nile virus have been found in Thornton, the Tri-County Health Department confirmed Friday. 

These are the first mosquitoes that have tested positive for the virus in Adams County this year, a release from the department says. There have not been any human cases of West Nile reported. 

West Nile-positive mosquitoes have also been detected in both Larimer and Weld Counties.

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The West Nile virus spreads when birds can carry it a long distance, then mosquitoes bite the birds and pick it up. The mosquitoes can then infect humans.

“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,” John M. Douglas, Jr. MD, and Executive Director of the Tri-County Health Department said in the release.

They suggest the following tips to help prevent mosquito bites:

  • 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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According to the Tri-County Health Department, most people who are infected with West Nile virus don't get sick. About one in five people who are infected develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash.

About one in 150 people who are infected develop a severe illness affecting the central nervous system, which the health department said can be life-threatening in very rare cases.

For more information on the West Nile virus, click here.

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