West Nile risk increases

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Aug 012006
 
Authors: Kate Dzintars

Two people in Larimer County have been diagnosed with West Nile Virus. The Loveland man and Fort Collins woman, both in their 50’s, are recovering, but still suffering from West Nile fatigue, according to the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment.

“The chance of getting West Nile now are much higher than when those people got sick in late June,” said West Nile Health Educator for Larimer County Mike Doyle.

It takes three to four weeks for symptoms to appear. Symptoms are flu-like and include headache, rash, extreme fatigue, dizziness, nausea and aversion to light.

High-risk areas in Fort Collins are anywhere within a mile of the Poudre River, Doyle said.

As it gets hotter, the risk will get higher. Doyle said that over watering your lawn is like inviting mosquitos to bite you, because they crave a cool, humid place to rest during the day. Plus, they breed in standing water.

Treating traditional mosquito breeding areas can help keep the numbers at bay. Residents should report standing water to Colorado Mosquito Control by calling (970) 663-5697.

Dead birds are often an indicator of the virus. While the county is no longer collecting dead birds, residents should call either 211 or 1-877-462-2911 to report them.

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