West Nile Virus

Join the SWAT team

West Nile Virus (WNV)

In Colorado, there are several important mosquito-borne diseases, including Western Equine Encephalitis (also known as "sleeping sickness"), St. Louis Encephalitis, and West Nile Virus. To monitor and track these diseases, mosquito surveillance is conducted. 

 West Nile Virus (WNV) is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected mosquitoes. It can also infect many other animals. In humans, the virus generally causes a mild illness, but it can lead to more severe conditions such as encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the brain and spinal cord lining).

The best way to protect yourself from West Nile Virus and other mosquito-borne diseases is to prevent mosquito bites. This can be done by wearing long-sleeved, light-colored clothing, using insect repellent containing DEET, avoiding outdoor activities during dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active, and removing any standing water from your home or yard, as it serves as a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Vaccines for horses are available, and it is recommended to discuss vaccination with a veterinarian if you own horses.

What are the symptoms of WNV?
Usually, symptoms start 2 to 14 days after the bite of an infected mosquito. Symptoms can include:

Milder SymptomsSevere Symptoms
FeverSevere headache
HeadacheHigh fever
Body achesStiff neck
Rash (more common in children)Muscle weakness
Joint painConfusion
Tremors, paralysis or coma

Arrow pointing to mosquitos not allowedEnvironmental Health and local mosquito control districts perform WNV surveillance in Delta County.

Delta County Mosquito Control District #1 and North Fork Mosquito Abatement District set up special traps overnight to capture mosquitoes in a specific area. The trapped mosquitoes are then collected, counted, and identified by local vector control agencies. Although various mosquito species may be caught in a single trap, only Culex species mosquitoes are tested for WNV since they are the primary carriers of the virus in Western Colorado. Typically, only a small number of mosquito traps will test positive for WNV in a season before we begin seeing human cases. This makes early trapping and identification extremely important, allowing us to warn our community to take adequate precautions against contracting the virus.

Join the ranks of the SWAT TEAM to combat the spread of  West Nile Virus.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it: 
Take an active part in mosquito abatement and awareness! Your efforts can make a significant impact in preventing the spread of this deadly disease.

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.

Look who is taking the lead in abatement!

Delta County Health Department is providing education and mosquito larvicide dunks to County Residents while supplies last.

The Delta County Mosquito District No. 1. primary focus is to identify and treat the areas where mosquito larvae thrive.   View the District No. 1 area boundary map.

Town of Cedaredge is giving away free mosquito larvicide dunks to all residents from June 1 – Sept. 30. Dunks can be picked up at Town Hall, the Police Department and the Cedaredge Golf Course.

Town of Hotchkiss Town Hall has information on abatement.  Delta County Annex is offering mosquito dunks and information for prevention. Contact Town Hall for more information. Pat's Bar and Grill is offering mosquito dunks and information for prevention. 

North Fork Mosquito Abatement District performs abatement activities around Hotchkiss and Paonia. View the North Fork Mosquito Abatement District boundary map which  are mainly in the river valley area.

Listen to an in depth discussion on what is happening with mosquito surveillance, mitigation, and protecting yourself from West Nile Virus hosted by Jill Spears with KVNF radio: