Curated News

Aug 1, 2014 12:48 PM by Lena Howland

Standing water poses threat for West Nile virus

The high amount of rainfall we've seen in the past few days has folks concerned about West Nile virus growing in standing water.

Initial human symptoms can include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, muscle aches, weakness and rash. More severe symptoms can include stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, vision loss, paralysis and even death.

Last year, Colorado reported 322 cases of West Nile virus disease, and seven people died.

The Pueblo City-County Health Department urges folks to "fight the bite" by following the four D's: Drain any standing water on your property, be aware that mosquitoes are most active at Dusk and Dawn, use repellent with DEET, and Dress with long sleeves and pants at times when mosquito's are most active.

Heavy rain plus heat is a mosquito's dream.

"Anytime we have an increased amount of rain and it does leave puddles, it does increase the chances of mosquitoes laying eggs in the standing water and increase the mosquito population," Chad Wolgram, Environmental Health Program Manager said.

Mosquitoes are most likely to breed in standing water.

"If you have standing water around your house, it's very important to make sure it gets drained right away because that can provide an area for mosquitoes to lay their eggs," Wolgram said.

The Health Department urges folks in Pueblo to drain any standing water on your property, along with covering up to "fight the bite."

"We need to make sure that we're wearing our bug spray that contains DEET, wearing either long sleeves and pants if possible," he said.

Yet some locals aren't very concerned.

"People still don't wear the mosquito spray. I never really wear it, so I don't know, not really worried," Brittany Robinson, a 23-year Pueblo resident said.

Even near standing water, some say mosquitoes aren't much of a nuisance.

"When I go places, I really don't get bit a lot, like if I go to the park it will really be not bad at all, just a few bother you but it ain't bad at all," Chris Tafoia, a Pueblo resident said.

One man from Pueblo tested positive for West Nile virus in July, bringing the state total of confirmed cases to five.

Officials tell us to expect the mosquitoes to stick around until about September.

"Especially around July through September, that's generally when we see transmission of West Nile virus," Wolgram said.

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