West Nile virus is appearing in mosquitoes across the state earlier than expected this year. KRCC’s Tucker Hampson reports.
The virus has been found in mosquito populations in northern Colorado counties and on the Western Slope. State Public Health Veterinarian Jennifer House says they’re not sure why mosquitoes are showing up with the virus earlier this the year, but that means people are at risk sooner than expected.
"We actually can’t predict the number of cases that we’re going have for this year," says House. "All we can tell you is that we are confident that the virus is circulating in the mosquito population, and people are now at risk of catching it."
Health officials reported 322 cases and 7 deaths from West Nile Virus last year in Colorado. Residents are reminded to avoid going outside during dawn and dusk, to wear mosquito repellant, and to drain stagnant water on their properties to prevent infection.