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BOULDER, Colo. (KDVR) — Boulder County Public Health has confirmed that the West Nile virus has been detected in mosquito traps in cities across Boulder County.

Mosquito traps in unincorporated Boulder County, Longmont, Erie and Superior tested positive for the West Nile virus according to BCPH.

“Longer days and summer weather leads to more people outside when mosquitoes are most active, at dawn and dusk. Recent high temperatures and standing water create an ideal environment for mosquitoes to breed,” said Marshall Lipps, Boulder County Public Health Environmental Health specialist. 

While most infections from the virus are mild, some cases can cause inflammation of the brain, meningitis, loss of vision, paralysis, comas, tremors, convulsions and death. BCPH reiterates that West Nile is transmitted to humans when an infected mosquito bites them.

“There is no treatment, cure or human vaccination for WNV, and health care providers can only treat symptoms to help patients feel better and possibly recover more quickly. Everyone should protect themselves and their loved ones by understanding their risks and taking proactive steps to keep everyone safe,” said Lipps.

How to protect yourself from West Nile virus

BCPH is asking residents to follow the rule of the 4Ds:

  • Defend – Use deet-enhanced insect repellent or alternatives
  • Dress – Dress in long sleeves and pants
  • Dusk to Dawn – Avoid the outdoors from dusk to dawn when mosquitoes are most active
  • Drain – Be sure to drain any standing water outside your home

In 2021, cases of West Nile were on the rise. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Colorado had 174 cases of West Nile in 2021 which resulted in 10 deaths.

So far in 2022, no human cases have been detected.

Mosquito season typically lasts from late April to mid-October and usually ends with the first freeze of the year. With the virus now detected in Colorado mosquitoes, public health specialists are reminding the public to monitor any symptoms and follow the 4Ds.