PUEBLO — Public Health Officials say multiple mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile virus in Pueblo. These are the first positive tests in Colorado in 2019.
Recent rainfall and high temperatures led to an increase in the mosquito population, and health officials urge everyone to protect themselves from the insects.
There are no confirmed cases of West Nile virus in humans, but the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment says there is a risk to people.
Once the virus enters the body from a mosquito bite symptoms may take 2 to 14 days to develop. The virus can affect any age group.
Most people with West Nile virus do not develop symptoms, but some people will have a fever that may include headache, muscle pain, joint pain, a rash, or diarrhea. Others might feel extremely tired and weak for several weeks. Anyone with these symptoms should seek medical attention right away.
Public health officials say people can protect themselves and their families by following the Four Ds:
- Drain: Eliminate standing water in ponds, tires, or similar water-holding containers as they may serve as mosquito breeding sites. Also change water in pet dishes, birdbaths, and flower pots weekly.
- Dusk and Dawn: Avoid outdoor activies like gardening at dusk and when, when mosquitoes are most active.
- DEET: Picaridin, IR3535, and Oil of lemon eucalyptus are also effective ingredients to look for in insect repellents. Always follow label instructions for application.
- Dress: If outside during periods when mosquitoes are most active, cover up by wearing long-sleeved shirts, pants, shoes, and socks.
More information about West Nile Virus is available at Colorado's Fight the Bite website.