Mosquito season has begun in Denver, and local environmental health crews have started testing mosquitoes across the city for disease last July 1, 2015. In a wet spring season like the one recently experienced by Colorado’s most populous region, water can start reaching places it doesn’t usually reach, giving mosquito eggs the amount of moisture they need to hatch.
Crews will sample mosquitoes from 50 sites around the city. High mosquito populations will be tested for the presence of West Nile Virus (WNV), and then treated with an all-natural larvicide to try to contain their numbers.
About the West Nile Virus
WNV is not contagious, although in rare occasions, it can be spread through blood transfusion. Most kids and adults who are infected by the virus may not display any symptoms at all, but those that do experience headaches, body aches, joint pains, diarrhea, fatigue, vomiting, and lack of energy. Children with certain underlying medical conditions are more susceptible to the disease, and may require an immediate visit to a Westminster pediatrics center like Indian Crest Pediatrics at the first hint of WNV’s flu-like symptoms.
There is no vaccine or medicine to protect against WNV; therefore, taking precautions against mosquito bites can help lessen the risk. Here are some useful tips to prevent and limit mosquito bites, and subsequently protect you and your family against the disease.
- Use insect repellant that contains DEET, IR3535, Picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Regarding DEET products, make sure these contain 30 percent DEET. Do not use DEET on infants younger than two months. Do not apply these products over cuts or wounds.
- Cover exposed skin. When going outdoors, be sure to wear hats, long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and socks. This serves a double purpose, as the clothing pieces will also protect you from the harsh rays of the sun.
- Stay and sleep in air-conditioned or screened rooms. Make sure the screens have no holes large enough for mosquitoes to fly in through. If you are sleeping in an area exposed to the outdoors, be sure to use a mosquito net.
Parents should be aware that WNV can be fatal when not treated immediately. If symptoms persist or worsen, don’t hesitate to take your child to a Westminster pediatrician for a thorough checkup and proper care.
Crews start trapping, testing mosquitoes for West Nile, 9 News, July 1, 2015
West Nile Virus, KidsHealth