Two mosquitoes from different traps in Lakewood have tested positive for West Nile virus in the past two weeks.
Several other jurisdictions across the state have also had positive tests for the virus, and so the city and county are urging citizens to be aware of the potential danger.
“West Nile is something that is probably here to stay,” said David Volkel, environmental specialist with Jefferson County Public Health.
“It’s not going away, and so we need people to be aware of this and act accordingly.”
Jeffco Public Health maintains surveillance of mosquitoes with traps all over the county, which are checked weekly to see if any mosquitoes caught carry any diseases.
According to Volkel, mosquitoes are drawn to standing water — from bird baths to rainwater collected in an upside down Frisbee — as places to lay their eggs, which only increases the number of bugs.
There are four “D”s that people are encouraged to keep in mind: drain any standing water; dusk and dawn are when mosquitoes are most active and extra precautions should be taken during those times; dress in long-sleeves and pants; DEET or other repellents should be used on exposed skin.
Drew Sprafke, regional parks supervisor, said parks like Bear Creek Lake Park and other wetland areas will have a much higher concentration of mosquitoes, and people should make use of repellent and skin-covering clothing if they’re going to be visiting these parks around dusk or dawn.
West Nile has been an issue in Colorado ever since what Volkel called “the original year” of 2003, when the disease was at its worst.
Since then the cases have lowered considerably, but there always a few every year.
“We had a pretty wet April, and with the recent showers that we’ve had this July, it’s likely we’ll see more mosquitoes around,” Volkel said.