West Nile

California's historic drought is partly to blame for the recent rise in West Nile virus infections, public health officials say. There have been 311 cases reported so far, double the number of the same time last year, and the most of any state in the country.

West Nile virus is spread by mosquitoes. They contract the virus when they feed on infected birds, then spread it to the birds they bite next. A shortage of water can accelerate this cycle.

Jake Ryan

Chris Tschinkel is stuffing mosquitoes into small plastic test tubes. 

He’s the field operations manager for the North Fork Mosquito Abatement District.  It’s a very small organization that tries to keep the local mosquito population under control.  Their territory runs from Hotchkiss to Paonia and further up the valley. 

  Newscast

  • Human case of West Nile discovered in Mesa County
  • Wildfires continue in Moffat County
  • Fierce debate over EPA carbon rules in Denver

Headlines:

  • Court Upholds Cease-and-Desist Order for Powell Mesa Hen House
  • BLM Says It Will Consider Input from North Fork Valley for Uncompaghre Resource Management Plan
  • EPA Holds Denver Hearing over New Carbon Dioxide Regulations
  • West Nile Cases Down in Delta County This Year
  • Governor's Budget Proposal Calls for Investment in Education, Disaster Recovery and more
  • Marijuana Use is NOT Legal on Federal Land
  • Udall Calls for Tougher Reforms for NSA
  • Ballots Mailed in Today May Not Arrive on Time

Headlines:

  • West Nile Virus Found in Delta County Mosquitoes
  • Hotchkiss Moves Forward with Ban on Commercial Marijuana Sales
  • Paonia’s Historic Paradise Theater Set to Reopen
  • State Lawmakers Begin Summer Committee Meetings
  • Craft Breweries Across the State Issue Letter Opposing Fracking
  • State of Colorado Joins Lawsuit Against Fracking Ban in Longmont

Headlines:

  • County’s Board of Health to spray Orchard City and Delta to prevent West Nile Virus
  • Petition to recall Colorado Senate president John Morse is verified by Secretary of State
  • Senators Udall and Bennet want trains to lay off the horns
  • Mesa County officials warn COGCC against over-regulation
  • BLM imposes stage one fire restrictions on public land

2012 was a bad year for West Nile Virus in Western Colorado. Mesa, Montrose and Delta Counties accounted for nearly half the confirmed cases in the state. In Delta County, the 22 cases included the death of an 82-year-old man from Orchard City.

CBS Denver

Summer is waning, and the Western Slope is already starting to feel some fall weather. But Delta County is still a breeding spot for mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus. KVNF’s Marty Durlin reports.

mosquito
Andrew Cranson

Last week, the Delta County Health department reported three additional cases of West Nile Virus among residents. That brings the total number of confirmed and suspect human cases of the virus in the county to 20–most of which have resulted in uncomplicated fever. Most of the reported cases have been in the Delta and North Fork areas, and on Saturday, the town of Hotchkiss sprayed to kill adult mosquitoes. For KVNF and the iSeeChange project, Julia Kumari Drapkin takes a closer look at why mosquitoes and West Nile Virus are thriving in a DROUGHT year and whether community efforts to spray late in the season will pay off.

Produced by Julia Kumari Drapkin, the iSeeChange project at KVNF is part of Localore, a nationwide production of AIR designed to accelerate transformation and extend public service media to all Americans.   KVNF was selected as one of  only 10 Localore stations across the country—learn more at airmediaworks.org. Localore is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Wyncote Foundation, the John T. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Interactive storytelling partner Zeega co-produced TheAlmanac.org with iSeeChange.