Season for West Nile virus continues in Colorado


Season for West Nile virus continues in Colorado

Officials with the Lexington Fayette County Health Department say tests have confirmed a case of the West Nile virus in Lexington resident.

West Nile virus is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected female mosquito. DeKalb is one of several counties where mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile virus, which means an increased risk of people contracting the virus, according to a news release. Because infected birds can pass on West Nile virus when they are bitten by mosquitoes, prevention strategies include monitoring avian cases.

Mosquitoes spread the disease to humans by biting a bird with the virus and then biting a human.

The Culex species of mosquitoes are the primary carriers of West Nile virus.

Although the swarms of mosquitoes that plagued people during the spring have died off, Hunter said the late summer is the most important time for people to protect themselves.

The human cases, all adults, experienced mild symptoms and did not require hospitalization.

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The health unit and public health confirmed residents within their regions had been infected with the West Nile virus August 18.

The product is created to provide quick, effective control of adult mosquito populations. Those 50 and older have the highest risk of severe disease.

Most people who are infected with WNV will not experience any illness.

When outside, use insect repellent containing DEET or other EPA-approved ingredients.

Nevertheless, Russell said the public needs to be aware that Ontario is entering the season when virus-carrying mosquitos are active. Less than one percent of infected people will develop a serious, sometimes fatal, neurological illness. The local health department or city government may be able to add larvicide to the water, which will kill any mosquito eggs.

Also, the department recommends draining standing water, keeping roof gutters clear of debris and making sure screen doors and windows are in good condition.

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