West Nile Virus

Mesa County Health Department

Mosquitoes in Mesa County tested positive for West Nile Virus.

Local officials say this is the first confirmed activity of the virus in area mosquitoes this year. 

However, other counties across Colorado have already reported positive tests to the state health department. 

Jennifer House is a state public health veterinarian.  

"We've recently had an increase in the number of positive mosquitoes," House says. "So far we have been able to find West Nile Virus positive mosquitoes in Boulder, Denver, Larimer, Mesa, Pueblo, and Weld counties."

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Mesa County Health Department

Colorado has its first human case of West Nile virus this year. 

Health officials say a Mesa County man hospitalized after contracting the virus is now recovering at home. He’s the first person to be diagnosed with it in Colorado so far this year, according to the state. 

Thomas Orr is a regional epidemiologist at the Mesa County Health Department.  

Mesa County Health Department

May was the wettest month on record, according to federal data. Colorado also saw its fair share of precipitation last month. 

This increased moisture could mean more mosquitoes and this has health officials concerned. 

The insects reproduce in standing water so when it rains a lot in can create ideal breeding habitat for them. 

Thomas Orr, a regional epidemiologist at the Mesa County Health Department, says more mosquitoes could lead to more cases of West Nile.

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. 

Mesa County Health Department

On Monday, Mesa County has its first laboratory confirmed case of the West Nile Virus this year.  It’s the 5th case in Colorado since last mosquito season.

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Mosquito, West Nile
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Colorado Department of Public Health said mosquitoes testing positive for the West Nile virus have been found in Delta, Mesa, Adams, Boulder and Weld counties.

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Travis Bubenik, KVNF.

If you called the Delta County Health Department Tuesday afternoon (June 18), you might've heard this message:

"We are not planning to spray the North Fork for mosquitos." 

Ken Nordstrom, Director of Environmental Health for Delta County, set those words as his voicemail message in response to a flurry of calls from North Fork area residents, who initially thought the health department was proposing to carry out aerial insecticide spraying throughout the county.