Mosquitoes in Mesa County test positive for West Nile Virus

Mosquitoes in Mesa County test positive for West Nile Virus

Residents urged to take precautions to prevent mosquito bites

Grand River Mosquito Control District collected mosquitoes that tested positive for West Nile virus. This is the first confirmed West Nile activity in mosquitoes in Mesa County this year.  As we enter monsoon season and experience heavier rainfall, taking measures to control mosquito populations near your home and on your property will reduce your risk of bites and West Nile virus.

How to control mosquito populations near your home:

  • 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.

How to protect against mosquitoes:

  • 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.

About one in five people infected with West Nile virus develop symptoms such as fever, headache, body aches and fatigue. Sometimes the virus can lead to more serious complications such as meningitis and encephalitis. If symptoms occur, contact your health care provider right away.

Mesa County Public Health is hosting back-to-school immunization clinics

Mesa County Public Health is hosting back-to-school immunization clinics

Check one thing off of your back-to school to-do list at Mesa County Public Health’s Back-to-School Immunization Clinics.

Wednesday, Aug. 2 and Monday, Aug. 14

8 a.m. – 6 p.m. each day

Public Health Clinic at 510 29 ½ Road, Grand Junction

Walk-in appointments only

Bring your immunization records

Students entering kindergarten must be up-to-date on immunizations for Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis (DTaP or Tdap), along with other required immunizations. For sixth-graders, this is an additional requirement, even if the child was current on all immunizations in elementary school.

Parents with non-medical exemption forms (immunization exemptions for personal beliefs or religious reasons) need to submit an exemption form every year, in accordance with state law. Those with a medical exemption need to submit an exemption form only once. Medical and non-medical exemption forms are available here.

Immunizations are required for school entry, but they also protect you and our community. Certain populations, such as very young children or those with certain medical reasons, cannot receive immunizations, so it’s important that the people around them are immunized.

If you aren’t sure which immunizations your child needs MCPH staff can help, and if you’re behind they can get you back on-track.

Can’t make the clinics? Call (970) 248-6906 to make an appointment or contact your local health care provider. For more information on childhood immunizations, including easy-to-read immunization schedules, visit, click on “Family Services,” then on “Immunizations.”

For questions regarding immunizations required to attend school, call Nursing Services at School District 51 at 254-5417 or review the list provided in each Parent Student Handbook.

State unveils new early childhood development videos

State unveils new early childhood development videos

The Colorado Department of Human Services’ Office of Early Childhood has partnered with local celebrity presenters Stephen Brackett of the Flobots and radio personality Issa Lopez to release new resources for parents designed to support children’s learning and development during the critical early years.

In the first few years of a child’s life, more than 1 million new neural connections are formed every second, building the brain’s architecture and creating a foundation that affects all future learning, behavior, and health. Decades of research show that when young children have positive experiences and caring and consistent relationships with adult caregivers, they build a strong foundation for lifelong learning, health, and well-being.

That’s why the state has created this new series of fun and engaging online videos in English and Spanish to educate parents and other caregivers about child development and offer practical tips they can use to support children’s learning.

By offering information, activities, and ideas that families and professional caregivers can easily incorporate into their everyday routines, the videos seek to empower adults with the understanding that they already have all the skills they need to help their children grow up healthy and happy.

“Parents are a child’s first and most important teacher. Every interaction we have with children teaches them something about the world, and the Early Learning and Development Guidelines videos can make parents feel more confident in their role,” said Jeff Kuhr, executive director of Mesa County Public Health and member of the Early Childhood Leadership Commission.

“Supporting healthy development starts by simply getting involved – building strong, supportive relationships that help children feel safe so they can learn and explore the world around them. We all have a role to play.” Kuhr said.

The videos – available at – are categorized by a child’s age and are based on the Colorado Early Learning and Development Guidelines, which align with the science of how best to support children in the early years.

“This video series honors parents by recognizing the challenges they face and showing them that they are not alone and also that they have abilities and gut feelings that they can trust,” said Stephen Brackett. “Where parents’ confidence might be lacking, the videos provide tools and model actions for problem-solving and finding community and finding support.”

The Colorado Early Learning and Development Guidelines were published in 2013 under the leadership of the Colorado Early Childhood Commission. The Early Learning and Development Guidelines Advisory Board consisted of a wide variety of stakeholders, including representatives from the Colorado Lieutenant Governor’s Office, Colorado Department of Education, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the Colorado Department of Human Services, the Early Childhood Leadership Commission, Colorado Head Start Association, Region VIII, local child care providers, higher education, early learning professionals, and others.