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First Human West Nile Virus Case Confirmed in Larimer County (Aug. 8, 2018)

This week the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment confirmed the first case of West Nile fever in a Larimer County resident in 2018. A second potential case is under investigation. Human case reports usually peak in August and September.

Mosquito numbers are abundant in many areas of the county. It is a good time to remind people to protect themselves from West Nile virus by taking steps to avoid being bitten. That can be done by using an effective repellent, wearing shirts with long sleeves and pants, or staying indoors when mosquitoes are biting.

Trapping mosquitoes to monitor for West Nile virus began in June in Larimer County. West Nile disease is a viral infection which is spread to people by bites from infected Culex mosquitoes. Symptoms can range from none to severe illness. About 75 percent of people who are infected are asymptomatic; about 25 percent will develop West Nile fever. Less than 1 percent develop the more severe neuroinvasive form, which can lead to hospitalization, critical illness, chronic disability, or even death.

The county health department works with our cities, a mosquito abatement company (Vector Disease Control International, formerly Colorado Mosquito Control), and Colorado State University to monitor and assess the risk to Larimer County residents.

For more information on West Nile virus, visit www.larimer.org/westnile.
 
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