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'Bad Year For Culex Mosquito': West Nile Virus Found In Weld County Mosquitoes

WELD COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) - If you've been wondering if there are more mosquitoes out and about, officials now have reason to believe there are. CBS4 talked with Weld County Public Health Officials and the team that collects samples of mosquitoes.

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"There's been a lot," Anna Wanick, Vector Disease Control International said.

Wanick helps set up traps for the pesky insect in counties all over Colorado including Denver and Weld County. Once the samples are collected, they send them off to a state lab for testing.

"We have CO2 in this cooler right up here," she explained of the device used to collect mosquitoes.

Traps with CO2 are used to lure the insect, then a fan helps suck them into a netting that traps them. Samples this year have come back with over 1,000.

"The Culex that we've been trapping here in Weld County, we've seen rates 3 times higher than the 5-year average," Eric Aakko, Weld County Public Health Department Spokesperson said.

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He told CBS4, the high temperatures mixed with afternoon showers are perfect for mosquito breeding.

"Fever, chills, potentially vomiting, body aches go to your health care provider because if it's not West Nile Virus it could be something else," Aakko said.

Those are just some of the symptoms of West Nile, but no cases have been found in people yet.

"This is probably going to be a bad year for the Culex mosquito which could be a bad year for West Nile Virus," he added.

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He's not telling people not to go out, but to follow the 4 Ds:

  • DRAIN standing water around your house weekly. Remember to drain water from tires, cans, flowerpots, clogged rain gutters, rain barrels, toys, and puddles.
  • DUSK and DAWN are when mosquitoes are most active. Limit outdoor activities and take precautions to prevent mosquito bites during these times.
  • DEET is an effective ingredient to look for in insect repellents. Other repellents containing picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or para-menthane-diol are also effective against mosquitoes. Always follow the product label instructions carefully.
  • DRESS in long sleeves and pants, and a hat, in areas where mosquitoes are active.

That is watch out during dawn and dusk hours, draining standing water, dressing to cover up, and using Deet or bug repellent.

Some have also wondered if mosquitoes can carry coronavirus, CBS4 has reported on that in the past, experts say it's highly unlikely.

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