West Nile virus is a disease that can be transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. While it has been common in Africa, Asia and the Middle East for decades, it first appeared in the U.S. in 1999 in New York. It has since traveled westward across the U.S. and now is in Colorado. It is very rare to catch this virus, and most infected people will not even get sick or will only experience mild flu-like symptoms. However, West Nile virus can be fatal. Colorado’s state and local public health agencies are providing these facts about this disease in order to ease fears, and so that everyone can take appropriate prevention measures.
Defend Yourself Against Mosquitoes:
DRAIN standing water around the house weekly since it’s where mosquitoes lay eggs, including: tires, cans, flowerpots, clogged rain gutters, rain barrels, toys and puddles.
DUSK & DAWN are when mosquitoes that carry the virus are most active., so limit outdoor activities or take precautions to prevent mosquito bites.
DEET is an effective ingredient to look for in insect repellents. Always follow label instructions carefully.
DRESS in long sleeves and pants during dawn and dusk or in areas where mosquitoes are active.
West Nile Virus disease is rare, but if you have symptoms including high fever, severe headache and stiff neck, contact your health care provider immediately.
For more information go to www.fightthebitecolorado.com