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Mosquitoes in Pueblo test positive for West Nile virus

PUEBLO, Colo. — Mosquitoes in Pueblo have tested positive for West Nile virus, the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment said Thursday. The mosquitoes are the first to test positive for the virus in Colorado in 2019.

No human cases of the virus have been reported this year.

“Mosquitoes throughout Pueblo have West Nile virus and this is a risk to people,” said Chad Wolgram, program manager at PDPHE.

The agency says after a person is infected with the virus through a mosquito bite, symptoms may develop in two to 14 days. The virus can affect any age group.

PDPHE says most people with West Nile do not develop symptoms. However, some people will have a fever, which may include a headache, muscle pain, joint pain, rash or diarrhea.

“Some infected persons experience a feeling of extreme tiredness and weakness for several weeks. Promptly seek medical attention from a physician if you have any of these symptoms,” PDPHE said.

The agency listed the following recommendations (the “Four D’s”) to protect against mosquitoes:

  • Drain: Get rid of standing water in pools, ponds, tires or other objects holding water which can serve as mosquito breeding sites. Change the water in pet bowls, bird baths and flower pots at least weekly.
  • Dusk and dawn: Avoid outdoors activities at dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Deet: “Picaridin, IR3535, and oil of lemon eucalyptus are also effective ingredients to look for in insect repellents.  Always follow label instructions for application,” PDPHE said.
  • Dress: If spending time outside when mosquitoes are active, cover up with long-sleeved shirts, pants, shoes and socks.

More information about West Nile can be found on the state’s “Fight the Bite” website.

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