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What You Need to Know About West Nile in Denver Right Now

Peyton Garcia
Peyton Garcia
Posted on August 30
A close up of a mosquito on human skin

West Nile cases are surging across Colorado. (nechaev-kon / Getty Images)

Last week, the death of a Denver resident marked the 11th West Nile death in the state this year. Other deaths have occurred in Weld, Larimer, and Boulder counties. Overall, there have been 103 cases across the state so far this year, with 60 people requiring hospitalization. Here’s what you need to know about the virus:

How Does It Spread?

West Nile is a virus spread through mosquito bites. Most cases occur in August and September, the peak of mosquito season, which ends with the season’s first freeze. But infections can definitely still occur anywhere from May to October.

Who Is at Risk?

While anyone can catch the virus, people over the age of 50 or those with weakened immune systems are at the greatest risk.

What Are the Symptoms?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most people infected do not ever develop symptoms, but those who do might experience fever, fatigue, headaches, and body aches.

How Can You Protect Yourself?

There is no West Nile cure or vaccine, so experts say to follow these four D’s:

  • Drain your property of standing water (kiddie pools, planters, buckets, birdbaths, wheelbarrows, etc.) where mosquitoes tend to gather and breed
  • Use DEET-based insect repellents
  • Avoid being outside at dawn and dusk
  • When you are outdoors, dress in long-sleeved shirts and pants
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