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West Nile Virus detected in Berthoud mosquito trap

Posted on 08/06/2020
Mosquitoes in a petri dish

Weld County — One group of mosquitoes collected from traps set during the week of July 27, 2020, on the Weld County side of the Town of Berthoud has tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV). This group came from traps set as part of the Town of Berthoud’s WNV surveillance program. This is the first positive test of any mosquitoes trapped within Weld County this year. Weld County contracts with an outside vendor to conduct mosquito trapping and testing in three zones within Weld County, which includes the Greeley/Evans area, the Johnstown/Milliken/Platteville area, and the Fort Lupton/Dacono/Firestone area. These traps have not had any WNV positive mosquitoes this year. The results of 15 mosquito groups trapped the week of August 3, 2020, however, are pending.

Although the risk of WNV is currently low, the hotter days in August create perfect conditions for the Culex mosquito and WNV. Currently there are no human cases of WNV in Weld County or in Colorado. Last year, there were a total of 9 human cases of WNV in Weld County.

West Nile Virus symptoms can appear 3-14 days after an infection. Initial symptoms can include fever, headache, nausea and vomiting, muscle aches and weakness, and rash, but most infected people don’t exhibit any symptoms. If a person develops symptoms, he or she should see a doctor immediately. There are no medications to treat or vaccines to prevent West Nile Virus infection, and less than one percent of infected people develop a serious, sometimes fatal, neurological illness.

Health officials recommend following the four “D’s” to prevent mosquito bites:

  • 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. Always follow label instructions carefully.
  • DRESS in long sleeves and pants in areas where mosquitoes are active.