Mosquito captured near Grand Junction tests positive for West Nile Virus

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KREX) – The Grand River Mosquito Control District set dozens of traps weekly, collecting and identifying mosquitoes in the Grand Valley. The Control District expresses how mosquitoes thrive from hot weather and standing water which makes areas on the Western Slope a destination, like the Colorado Riverfront Trail.

The first positive case of the West Nile Virus has some avid adventurers unafraid but aware of surroundings.

“We’re on the water all the time, I don’t really worry about it too much. There’s not too many bugs out on the water when you’re in the middle the river,” Avid Adventurer James Stover mentions, “The bugs are really low, they don’t really make it out to the river that far. It’s typically when you’re on the banks and you walked around the weeds.”

Summertime is almost done but not over. Mesa County Public Health shares how this time of year is when mosquito activity peaks and it’s critical to take precautions.

“Whether the time you spent outside is on land or out anybody of water mosquitoes are out biting, carrying many things including the West Nile Virus,” Cora Dickey reports.

Increased outdoor activity can lead to increased exposure to mosquito bites.

Like the insect, businesses like Grand Junction Stand Up Paddleboarding thrive from warm weather and good water. While its employees and patrons haven’t had trouble with mosquitoes or the virus this summer, both still stay prepared.

“For our customers, we give them a confirmation note, with the basics of telling them to wear bug spray, wear long sleeve shirts just to help with that , and also to help with the sun as well,” Grand Junction Stand Up Paddleboarding Founder Elizabeth Fortushniak shares.

The best way to avoid getting West Nile Viruss is to avoid being bitten.

Mesa County Public Health is working with Grand River Mosquito Control District to bring up to date information to the community. In the meantime, public health officials advise people to avoid being outdoors at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active and track activity when possible.

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