Mosquitoes in Fort Collins have tested positive for West Nile virus for the first time this season. While the risk of contracting West Nile remains low, mosquito traps in Fort Collins, Weld County and the Town of Berthoud revealed Culex mosquitoes infected with the disease.

The vector index, or measure of infected mosquitoes, is 0.004 citywide. Before the City will consider adulticiding the vector index must be 0.75 in any of the four zones. The County has a lower threshold for action and may initiate an application earlier per the Director of the Health and Environment Department’s recommendation.

West Nile virus is a disease that is transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. The symptoms of West Nile range from none to very serious.

Protect Yourself From West Nile

With the presence of the disease residents are encouraged to protect themselves using the Four D’s: Drain, Dress, Defend, Dusk through dawn.

1. Drain
Mosquitoes breed in water! Drain any standing water in your yard each week. Bird baths, clogged gutters and kiddie pools are common breeding sites.

2. Dress
Wear lightweight, long-sleeved shirts and long pants while outdoors. Spray clothing with insect repellent since mosquitoes may bite through clothing.

3. DEFEND
Apply insect repellent sparingly to exposed skin. Use an approved repellent according to its label.

4. Dawn/Dusk
Limit time spent outdoors at dawn through dusk, when mosquitoes are most active and feeding.

While there are no guarantees that you will not get WNV, using the Four D’s helps minimize the risk.

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