Mosquitoes from two trap locations in Mesa County have tested positive for West Nile virus. Both locations were in the Fruita area.
The Grand River Mosquito Control District collected the mosquitoes on August 5th. The types of mosquitoes that tested positive were identified as Culex species, which can transmit West Nile virus to people.
There have been no human cases of West Nile virus in Mesa County so far in 2019.
This is the first confirmed West Nile activity in mosquitoes in Mesa County this year. However, this is the time of year when activity typically peaks, so it’s critical for residents to take precautions.
The best way to avoid getting West Nile virus is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. Increased outdoor activity can lead to increased exposure to mosquito bites so take some easy steps to protect yourself:
- Use an EPA-approved insect repellent effective against mosquitoes. Look for one that contains DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, 2-undecanone, or oil of lemon eucalyptus,
- Dress in long sleeves and pants when in areas where mosquitoes are active,
- Avoid being outdoors at dusk and dawn; this is when mosquitoes are most active,
- Drain and remove sources of standing water on your property.
Mesa County Public Health (MCPH) is committed to bringing information and data to our community in a way that is meaningful and easy to understand. This summer, MCPH launched the Mosquito Meter, a way for residents to monitor the risk of human West Nile virus infection. Because two trap locations have confirmed West Nile virus in mosquitoes, the meter has been elevated to high.
There were two confirmed human cases of West Nile virus in Mesa County last year. The first case was reported in August, and the second in September of 2018.