West Nile Virus

West Nile Virus (WNV) appeared early in 2003 and as most people know Colorado had a record year, which was predicted given that 2003 was the second year of the virus in the State. The JeffCo goal in 2003 was to keep the number of cases to less than 100 with no deaths from the disease. To date there have been 105 cases and two deaths.

The early attack on the disease by JeffCo using larvacide in standing water and their campaign to have residents empty standing water in children's toys, kiddie pools, buckets and other places where water collects was very helpful. The health department estimates that thousands of people actually contracted the disease and either had no symptoms or were never diagnosed, having a mild case of WNV. These people have developed and immunity to the disease and are protected now. A vaccine will eventually be developed but that is likely a few years off. For now our best protection is to do the following to

"Fight the Bite"

  • 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 and Dawn are when mosquitoes that carry WNV 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 or pants during dawn and dusk or in areas where mosquitoes are active.
  • West Nile Virus disease is rare, but if you do have symptoms including high fever, severe headache and stiff neck, contact your health care provider immediately.

    for more info: www.fightthebite