Public Health Emerging Issues – July 31, 2019

SIGNIFICANT SPIKE IN NUMBER OF MOSQUITOES THAT CARRY WEST NILE VIRUS

  • West Nile virus and other illnesses can be transmitted through mosquitoes.
  • Grand River Mosquito Control District (GRMCD) has traps across Western Colorado to monitor mosquito populations.
  • No mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile virus in Mesa County so far this season.
  • In the past several weeks, trap counts for Culex mosquitoes have significantly spiked.
  • Culex is the type of mosquito that can transmit West Nile disease.
  • Culex mosquito counts are higher this year than in previous years. Last week, 2,374 Culex mosquitoes were trapped in Mesa County, more than double the 5-year average for that same time period.
  • August and September are the months we typically see the highest mosquito activity. The risk is present until the first hard freeze, usually in October.
  • Simple preventive measures can protect you and your family against West Nile virus.
    • Wear long pants and shirts.
    • Use an EPA-approved insect repellent effective against mosquitoes. Look for a product that contains one of the following active ingredients: DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus or 2-undecanone.
    • Repair holes in screen windows or doors to keep mosquitoes outside.
    • Avoid being outside at dusk and dawn as this is when mosquitoes are most active.
  • There were two confirmed human cases of West Nile virus in Mesa County last year; 96 cases of human West Nile virus were reported across the country last year leading to 5 deaths.

Mesa County Public Health with the help of our partners at GRMCD developed an online tool where you can view local mosquito activity. Check out the Mosquito Meter on health.mesacounty.us to monitor trap locations nearby

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