A Mesa County resident has tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). This is the first human case identified in Mesa County since 2015. The case follows an increase in Culex mosquitoes – the type of mosquito that carries WNV – in Mesa County.

“We work with the Grand River Mosquito Control District to monitor mosquito populations in our community. We’ve seen more Culex mosquitoes this year than in the past three years,” Epidemiology Program Manager Heidi Dragoo said.

“This human case of West Nile virus serves as a reminder to our community that although we were fortunate to see two years without any of the illness in humans, it’s still in Mesa County and can still affect our residents.”

According to Dragoo, working together to limit Culex mosquito populations and, of course, preventing mosquito bites remain the best ways to prevent West Nile virus in Mesa County.

Limit populations near your home and on your property.

  • Drain standing water at least once a week.
    • Bird baths, flowerpots, old tires and other containers that can collect and hold water are great places for Culex mosquitoes to lay their eggs.
  • Clean vegetation and debris from the edges of ponds and clip tall grass or weeds near your home or where people use your yard.
  • Avoid over-watering lawns and gardens.

Prevent mosquito bites.

  • Use an Environmental Protection Agency approved insect repellent effective against mosquitoes.
    • DEET, Picaridin, IR3535 and oil of lemon eucalyptus are commonly used.
  • Wear long pants and long shirts whenever possible.
  • Avoid spending time outside from dusk to dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.

Only one in five people infected with WNV show symptoms such as fever, headache, body ache and diarrhea. In some rare cases, WNV can cause more serious complications such as meningitis or encephalitis. Click here to learn more about West Nile virus.