The Pueblo West View

Mosquitoes in Pueblo, Pueblo County test positive for West Nile virus

Mosquitos have tested positive for West Nile virus in the city and county of Pueblo, the Pueblo City-County Health Department confirmed Friday.

Public health officials are urging people to protect themselves from mosquitos.

“It is important individuals take precaution to avoid the West Nile virus as more mosquitos are in Pueblo after the recent rains,” Dr. Christine Nevin-Woods, public health director for the Pueblo City-County Health Department, said in a press release. “So far, no human cases have been confirmed in Pueblo. Let’s work together to prevent this.”

The West Nile virus develops in the human body within 5-14 days after a bite from an infected mosquito, according to the health department.

All forms of West Nile virus can be serious and have potential for causing long-term illness and disability.

West Nile virus can affect any age group.

Symptoms of West Nile virus include fever, fatigue, headache, muscle weakness, rash, stiff neck or changed mental state.

Some infected people experience a feeling of extreme tiredness and weakness for several weeks.

Nevin-Woods advises individuals to protect themselves from West Nile virus by following the four D’s: drain, dusk and dawn, Deet and dress.

It is advised to drain standing water that may serve as mosquito breeding sites; avoid doing outdoor activities at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active; look for Deet, picaridin and oil of lemon as ingredients in insect repellents; and dress in long-sleeved shirts, pants, shoes and socks if outside during periods when mosquitoes are most active.

During 2013, a total of three human West Nile virus infections have been confirmed in Colorado including one in Delta County and two in Larimer County.

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