DENVER -- Weld County health officials said new numbers show there have been 7 cases of West Nile virus and four cases of Zika virus there. The announcement came Monday afternoon.
Two of the cases of West Nile were serious enough to require hospitalization. Everyone who became ill has recovered or is recovering at home.
The four cases of Zika occurred when residents traveled outside of Colorado.
The altitude in Colorado is too high and the weather is too dry for the Zika virus-carrying mosquito, but health officials warn residents to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites when traveling to areas with active Zika virus. “The public health message is to avoid getting bit by any mosquitoes,” said Dr. Mark Wallace, executive director of the Weld County Health Department. “In Colorado, our mosquitoes are active at dawn and dusk; but in areas with Zika, the mosquitoes are active during the daytime.”
Health experts recommend wearing mosquito repellent and wearing long pants and long-sleeved shirts to prevent mosquito bites.
Pregnant women or women planning to become pregnant should take extra precautions and consider avoiding traveling to places where Zika virus exists. Zika can cause permanent negative health effects on a developing fetus.