West Nile Tip of the Week
Editor’s note: The Post Independent and the Garfield County health department will give you tips every week on how to avoid West Nile Virus.As of July 1, there have been seven reported human cases of West Nile Virus in Colorado. The cooler weather we have been having has probably kept mosquito populations down so far. We can expect temperatures to rise soon. With the hotter weather the mosquitoes will appear in greater numbers. Locally our mosquito management contractor, Colorado Mosquito Control, has submitted eight pools of mosquitoes to the State Lab for testing. Culex tarsalis, the species of mosquito that is the main carrier of the West Nile Virus, has been found throughout Garfield County in small numbers, but so far none of the mosquito pools have tested positive for West Nile. This could change at any time.With the long weekend ahead and the anticipated warmer temperatures we must do what we can to reduce our exposure to mosquitoes. For folks going hiking, camping or fishing this weekend, be prepared. Have repellent on hand that contains DEET. Clothing can be sprayed with either DEET or permethrin. Follow label directions. If you don’t like to use DEET, look for an organic product call Bite Blocker. This is a soy-based product and comes as a spray or lotion. It isn’t as effective as a DEET product but it will provide about an hour and half of protection. Bite Blocker is available at local health food stores. Parents should apply repellent to young children to ensure complete coverage and proper application. Avoid getting the repellent on children’s hands or in their eyes or mouths.Wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants while outdoors can reduce the need for repellent. Limit time spent outdoors at dawn or dusk when mosquitoes that carry West Nile Virus are most active.The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has put together a great web site that contains detailed West Nile Virus information and is updated daily. That address is http://www.fightthebitecolorado.comThe Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has put together a great web site that contains detailed West Nile Virus information and is updated daily. That address is http://www.fightthebitecolorado.com
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