Mosquito tests positive for West Nile virus in Moffat County
A mosquito caught by Moffat County’s weed and pest control division has tested positive for West Nile virus.
Jesse Schroeder, the county’s weed and pest control manager, said a mosquito caught near the South Beach Boat Ramp about five miles south of Craig tested positive for the virus.
“It’s the only positive we’ve had this year,” Schroeder said.
Schroeder wants residents to be aware know there may be West Nile-carrying mosquitoes buzzing around Moffat County.
“There are some positive mosquitos in the area,” Schroeder said.
In an email from Kari Ladrow, the county’s interim public health director said there have been no human cases of West Nile Virus this year.
“According to the CDC, as of June 11, there have not been any confirmed or probable cases of West Nile Virus Disease in humans in Colorado this year,” Ladrow said. “In 2018, there were a total of 96 of neuro and non-neuro invasive West Nile Virus disease cases in humans in the state of Colorado which sadly resulted in three deaths.”
Schroeder said it’s always good to avoid going out during early morning and late evening hours without covering up or using bug spray. And until the cold comes back later this year, folks should be aware.
“We run the risk until the killing frost,” Schroeder said. “Anytime the mosquitos are out, until it’s cold enough that they’re done for the year, they’re a potential vector.”
Ladrow also included the following tips for residents to control area mosquito populations:
- Find and eliminate their breeding sites – standing water. Mosquitoes lay groups of eggs on the surface of water in rain barrels, bird baths, tin cans, old tires, car bodies, cisterns, roof gutters and any other containers that hold water.
- Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers.
- Clean pet water dishes regularly.
- Change the water in bird baths at least once a week.
Ladrow said residents can use the following tips to keep mosquitoes from biting you or the ones you love.
- Use EPA-approved repellents that include active ingredients such as DEET, picaridin, IR. 3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
- Apply repellents sparingly, only to exposed skin. Saturation does not increase efficacy.
- Wear light-colored, loose fitting clothing, and long sleeves and pants, especially at dawn and dusk.
- Avoid applying repellents to portions of children’s hands that are likely to have contact with eyes or mouth. Avoid using repellents on wounds or irritated skin and wash repellent-treated skin after coming indoors.
Ladrow said not everyone will show common symptoms if infected with West Nile.
“About one in five people infected with West Nile virus develop symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches and fatigue,” Ladrow said. “Sometimes the virus can lead to more serious complications such as meningitis and encephalitis. If symptoms occur, contact your health care provider right away.”