West Nile virus making debut in Larimer County

Henrietta Brewer
August 1, 2019

So far this year, no humans in IL have gotten sick because of the West Nile Virus but the Henry County Health Department takes the risk seriously.

If you suspect you have a West Nile virus infection, contact a health care provider immediately.

The CDC recommends using insect repellent and wearing long-sleeved shirts and trousers while outside to help avoid contact with mosquitoes which could be carrying the virus.


"Now that West Nile virus has been found in Larimer County, it is time to be proactive", said Shaun May, Larimer County environmental health director, in a press release. Make sure you are wearing insect repellent when mosquitoes are biting. Protect yourself by applying insect repellent contacting DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus; wearing loose, long-sleeved light-colored shirt and trousers and avoiding the areas containing infected mosquitoes at dusk and dawn when the insects are most active.

West Nile Virus is transmitted through bites from female culex mosquitos, who have previously bitten a bird with the virus. "Public Health staff also survey public areas for stagnant water that may be serving as mosquito breeding sites and treat identified sites with larvicide". Symptoms can range from none at all to severe illness.

Larimer County Department of Health and Environment works with our cities, a mosquito abatement company (Vector Disease Control International, formerly called Colorado Mosquito Control), and Colorado State University to monitor and assess the risk to Larimer County residents.


According to Peel Public Health data, this is the first WNV-positive mosquito batch of 2019 in the region. DEET, Picaridin, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (also called p-menthane-3,8-diol or PMD) and IR3535 are good choices.

Avoid areas with high mosquito populations, such as shaded or wooded areas, and take extra precautions between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active. This is in addition to preventative action like dumping or draining standing water at least twice per week and wearing mosquito repellent and long sleeves and trousers from dusk to dawn.


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