The mosquito season is going full bore and that means the ever-present threat of West Nile Virus.

Mosquito testing began in June and virus-positive mosquitoes were found in Delta, Larimer, and Weld counties. Now we have the state's first human case of West Nile this year and it comes from Delta County. Not all Colorado counties test mosquitoes, so it can be difficult to know exactly where mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus may be active.

According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, in 2019, Colorado had a reported 122 human cases of West Nile Virus and eight deaths.

Most West Nile virus cases are reported in August and September, which means this is the time of year when we need to be most diligent in protecting ourselves from mosquito bites. This is best achieved by using insect repellants when you go outdoors, limiting outdoor activities at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active, and if you in a mosquito area wear protective clothing like long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and socks. Mosquitoes sure seem to love ankles.

Here's what you need to know about the West Nile virus.  Most people who get infected with the virus have zero symptoms. About one in five of infected people will have flu-like symptoms, and fewer than 1% develop a serious and potentially deadly illness. Individuals over the age of 60 and those with certain medical conditions are at the greatest risk of serious illness.

Most of the time, mosquito bites are temporary itching annoyances, but sometimes those bites can be serious. The wise and prudent thing to do is take some simple precautions and minimize your risk of infection. Folks in Delta County, especially, should definitely be aware of the threat of the West Nile virus.

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