DELTA COUNTY, Colo. — State health officials confirmed the first case of West Nile virus in a person from Delta county for 2022.

West Nile virus has been found in mosquitoes in Boulder, Larimer, and Weld counties this season according to the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE). 

West Nile virus is most commonly spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. In Colorado, most human cases of West Nile virus are reported in August and September. In 2021, Colorado had 175 reported human cases of West Nile virus, including 11 deaths.

“We urge Coloradans to protect themselves against West Nile virus,” said Dr. Natalie Marzec, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “This disease is spread primarily by mosquito bites. Coloradans can protect themselves by using effective insect repellent, wearing protective clothing that minimizes exposed skin, or staying indoors when mosquitoes are active.” 

Most people infected with West Nile virus don’t have symptoms. About 20% of infected people will have flu-like symptoms, and fewer than 1% develop a serious, potentially deadly illness.

People aged 60 years and older and those with certain medical conditions are at greater risk of serious illness.

To protect yourself:

  • Use insect repellents when you go outdoors. Repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or para-menthane-diol products provide the best protection. For more information about insect repellents visit the EPA’s information webpage. Always follow label instructions.
  • Limit outdoor activities at dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Wear long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and socks in areas where mosquitoes are active. Spray clothes with insect repellent for extra protection.

To mosquito-proof your home:

  • Empty water from tires, cans, flowerpots, clogged gutters, rain barrels, birdbaths, toys, and puddles at least once every week.
  • Install or repair screens on windows and doors.