One mosquito pool collected the week of July 7 from a trap at Waneka Lake Park in Lafayette has tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV). Last week, Colorado saw the first human case of the illness in a resident of Delta County.
Culex mosquitoes increase in number as temperatures rise. Human infection of WNV can occur without symptoms. It can also cause mild to severe illness, including fever, extreme fatigue, head and body aches; lead to chronic disability, including tremors, vision loss, and paralysis; or even result in death.
Boulder County Public Health officials urge residents to remember the 4Ds:
1. Use DEET-enhanced insect repellent or alternative.
2. DRESS in long sleeves and pants.
3. Avoid the outdoors from DUSK until DAWN.
4. DRAIN standing water outside your home.
“The best way for people to protect themselves against West Nile Virus is to follow the 4 Ds. The City will do its part to provide protection to our citizens; residents are encouraged to do what they can to fight against this virus”, said Monte Stevenson, Director of Parks, Open Space and Golf at the City of Lafayette.
In addition to the case in Colorado, as of July 2, ten other human cases of WNV have been reported in the U.S.: California (1), Mississippi (5), South Dakota (1), Tennessee (1), and Texas (2). Generally, the mosquito season extends from late April until mid-October, with the end usually signaled by the first freeze in the fall.
The City of Lafayette contracts with Colorado Mosquito Control to conduct surveillance of adult mosquito populations and to provide limited adult mosquito control when predetermined disease and annoyance thresholds have been surpassed. The goal is to provide the greatest level of control of pest and disease vector mosquito populations while maintaining a balanced use of cultural, biological, and least-toxic chemical procedures that are environmentally compatible and economically feasible.