What: Boulder County Public Health officials urge residents to take precautions to protect themselves. They advise the following:
Use: DEET-enhanced insect repellent or alternative.
Dress: in long sleeves and pants.
Avoid: the outdoors from dusk until dawn.
Drain: standing water outside your home.
More info: For more information about West Nile virus and mosquito activity in Boulder County, visit BoulderCountyMosquito.net. For general information about Boulder's mosquito control program, visit BoulderColorado.gov/ipm and click on "Mosquito Control Program." For basic information and updates, call the West Nile hotline at 303-441-3400.
Mosquitoes at several sites in Boulder have tested positive for West Nile virus in the last couple of weeks, prompting city officials to urge residents to take precautions.
"It's starting to show up here," said Rella Abernathy, Boulder's integrated pest management coordinator.
So far this season, mosquito samples also have tested positive for the virus in Longmont and in east county areas.
In Boulder, on June 25, a positive pooled sample came from mosquitoes trapped at Christensen Park and Stazio Ball Fields. On July 2, a second positive pooled sample came from traps located at Christensen Park, Tom Watson Park, Locust and 10th streets and the South Boulder Recreation Center.
Pooled samples indicate that positive mosquitoes came from at least one of the sites listed.
Because mosquitoes can breed in very small amounts of stagnant water, city officials recommend that residents mosquito-proof their properties by draining any standing water, not over-watering and looking for any items that can hold water -- toys, tarps and covers, pots, wheelbarrows, tire swings, recycling bins, trash cans and lids.
Birdbaths also should be changed every three to four days.
Beginning in mid-May, the city regularly monitors mosquito numbers and types with a grid of surveillance traps. The city treats mosquito habitats with Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti).
Abernathy said mosquito activity in Boulder is about the same as this time last summer.
Culex mosquitoes, the type that carry West Nile virus, increase in number as temperatures rise. Human infections can occur without symptoms or can cause mild or severe illness, including fever, extreme fatigue, head and body aches; and can lead to chronic disability, including tremors, vision loss and paralysis, or even death.
"We really can't predict what conditions are going to cause a human outbreak," Abernathy said. "We need people to avoid mosquitoes. You don't want to take a risk."
Contact Camera Staff Writer Amy Bounds at 303-473-1341 or email@example.com.