Overcoming the pandemic that has swept the world has been the focus of each health department, including Boulder County.
However, as they continue to overcome the hurdle of the COVID-19 response and ensure that the public has access to vaccinations, public health officials have begun worrying about another threat to public health... mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes are no small threat, as they can carry life-ending illnesses such as West Nile virus and malaria.
Colorado has had an unusually rainy spring and early summer which is great for the grass, but not great for a lack of bugs, as mosquitoes are able to hatch in the more damp conditions. According to Longmont's Land Program Administrator, Dan Wolford, public health officials have been on the lookout for specific species of mosquitos that are more prone to carrying diseases. These are flood-type mosquitos and their presence, Aedes species. Dan continued to expand and explain that the continued moisture this season will provide ample opportunity for other vector-carrying mosquitoes which we should see in late June to early July.
The city of Longmont has confirmed that they already have plans to use chemicals that are lethal to mosquitos if any are found carrying the virus in Weld, Boulder, or Larimer counties.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that mosquitoes can transmit the virus to humans by biting. They also confirmed that West Nile virus can cause fevers, disorientation, loss of vision, and even paralysis if contracted. Individuals who are 60 years old or older are more at risk for the more dangerous symptoms. There is currently no cure for West Nile virus so disease experts are saying the only way to protect yourself is to limit contact with mosquitoes.
Public health officials don't want anyone to panic. They are still searching for signs of mosquitoes bearing the disease.