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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Officials say West Nile virus infections and deaths are both up in Colorado compared to last year, and there have been more cases so far than at any point since 2016.

The Gazette reports as of this week, data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment shows 139 Coloradans have contracted the mosquito-borne illness, which has resulted in six deaths. Those figures are up 297% and 500%, respectively, when compared to 2020.

Despite the spike, many health officials said it’s not abnormal for the numbers to vary and emphasized preventive measures such as avoiding the outdoors in peak mosquito times can reduce the likelihood of contraction.