West Nile virus hits Weld County

WELD COUNTY, Colo. — A pool of mosquitoes from traps set the first week of July has tested positive for West Nile virus, the Weld County Department of Public Health said Friday.

There are no human cases of the virus in Weld County and only one in the state.

Although health officials say the risk of contracting West Nile is low, hotter summer days create conditions perfect for mosquitoes and the spread of the virus, and it’s best not to get bit.

While there is no vaccine against a West Nile infection, you can follow the four “Ds” of prevention:

  1. Drain standing water around your home.
  2. Limit outdoor activities at Dusk and Dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
  3. Use insect repellent with Deet or other effective ingredients. Check labels for picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol.
  4. Dress in long sleeves and pants.

Most infected people do not exhibit any symptoms, but anyone experiencing fever, headache, nausea, vomiting muscle aches and weakness should seek medical attention.

Symptoms can appear three to 14 days after infection.

Last year, 27 people in Weld County were infected with West Nile virus.