DENVER (KDVR) — Two human cases of West Nile virus were confirmed in two different counties on Wednesday. There are now three confirmed cases in the state.
The Adams County Health Department said in a release that a county resident contracted the virus but did not provide details of the person’s health or age.
According to the Boulder County Health Department, a Lafayette resident in their 40s has been confirmed to have the virus but has not been hospitalized.
West Nile virus was discovered in mosquitoes in both counties last month, along with two others — Larimer and Weld counties. The first confirmed human case was found in Larimer County last week.
There were 206 reported cases last year and 20 deaths, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
Experts predicted West Nile increase this year
The Front Range experienced a high level of precipitation this spring and so far this summer, which scientists said, has created more cases of West Nile virus from the increase in mosquitoes.
A public health investigator for Denver’s Department of Public Health and Environment told FOX31’s Evan Kruegel in early June that the heavy rainfall in May and early June had created plenty of habitat for mosquitoes, which could lead to higher populations this summer.
“In our office, we’re definitely preparing for it,” Brian Tietze said.
How to protect yourself from mosquito bites
Adams County Health provided ways residents can prevent contracting the virus:
- Use insect repellents when you go outdoors. Repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or para-menthane-diol products provide the best protection. Always follow label instructions.
- Limit outdoor activities at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
- Wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and socks in areas where mosquitoes are active. Spray clothes with insect repellent for extra protection.
Mosquito-proof your home:
- Empty water from tires, cans, flowerpots, clogged gutters, rain barrels, birdbaths, toys, and puddles at least once every week.
- Install or repair screens on windows and doors.
ACHD said most people infected with West Nile virus don’t have symptoms, and only about 20% will have flu-like symptoms. Fewer than 1% develop serious, possibly deadly illness.