Animal and Insect related Issues

  1. West Nile Virus
  2. Plague
  3. Hantavirus
  4. Rabies in Skunks/Bats
  5. Tularemia
  6. Tick Borne Disease
  7. Head Lice (pediculosis)
  8. Bed Bugs

West Nile virus (WNV)  

Join the SWAT TEAM
In Colorado, Western Equine Encephalitis "Sleeping Sickness," St. Louis Encephalitis, and West Nile Virus are all important mosquito-borne diseases. Mosquito surveillance involves capturing mosquitoes in special traps that are set out overnight. The traps catch a sample of the mosquitoes flying around in an area at the time the traps are present. These trapped mosquitoes are collected, counted and speciated by local vector control agencies. Not all jurisdictions in Colorado perform mosquito surveillance. Many species of mosquitoes may be caught in a single trap, but only Culex species mosquitoes are tested for WNV, since these are the mosquitoes that can transmit WNV to people in Colorado. Typically, only a few mosquitoes in any one trap will test positive for WNV, but that’s all it takes to continue the transmission cycle and infect people.

New-LogoDelta County 2022 WNV End of Year Report

What should you do?

You should Remember the four R's

  • REPEL mosquitos using EPA-registered insect repellent. Stay indoors when mosquitos are most active at dusk and dawn.
  • REMOVE standing water from your home and yard even the smallest amount of water can breed mosquitos in as little as 4 days.
  • REPAIR or replace damaged window and door screens.
  • REMIND your family, friends and neighbors about mosquito safety. Mosquitos will fly more than a mile to feed that why it's important to help your neighbors understand mosquito safety too.

Learn what's going on

To learn more about what mosquito control should look like in your community, visit the CDC website.

What is West Nile Virus Infection?

The West Nile Virus is spread by the bite of infected mosquitoes. It can infect many animals and humans. In people, West Nile Virus usually causes a mild illness, but it can also cause encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord).
This virus is named after the West Nile region of Uganda where the virus was first isolated in 1937. West Nile virus first appeared in 1999 in New York City. It first appeared in Delta County in 2003 and is now widely circulating in our area.
The best way to protect yourself from West Nile Virus and other mosquito-borne diseases is to prevent mosquito bites. Wear long-sleeved light-colored clothing, use insect repellent with DEET, avoid outdoor activity at dusk and dawn, and remove standing water from your home or yard. Vaccines are available for horses and should be discussed with your veterinarian.

Delta County conducts surveillance and control activities in the same way that Summit County their video below to see how:


Center for Disease Control and Prevention: Arboviral Encephalitides
Center for Food Security and Public Health: Equine Encephalitides
Center for Food Security and Public Health: West Nile Virus
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment: West Nile Virus
U.S. Geological Survey Disease Maps

Phone Numbers

West Nile Virus Colorado Health Education Line for the Public (CO-HELP): 1-877-462-2911
Delta County Environmental Health Hot Line: 970-874-2172

Zoonoses Resources

Encephalitis, plague, hantavirus, rabies, tularemia, and other tick borne diseases continue to be public health threats in Western Colorado. The Zoonosis Control Program provides assistance to individuals, animal control agencies, and veterinarians with regard to these diseases. 

You may also be interested in learning more about these important topics:

Roundworms and Pets (Iowa Department of Public Health)

Common Questions about Zoonoses (Iowa Department of Public Health)

A Guide To Healthy Animal Experiences with Young Children (Iowa Department of Public Health) (a website dedicated to helping protect your family and home from pests)