The state health department is urging folks in Colorado to take precautions to prevent exposure to the West Nile virus. Contact the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) or Pueblo City - County Health Department to get more information about this virus, which is transmitted by mosquitoes and can affect animals and people. Several cases of the virus have been confirmed in Colorado. Visit the links provided above, which contain general information for all Colorado residents, or print the Colorado Department of Health Pamphlet for distribution.
On Campus consider the following guidelines:
You should review your outdoor programs and incorporate procedures that will reduce the risk of infection such as:
- Limiting outside activity around dawn and dusk when mosquitoes feed. Altering schedules might be warranted - especially for events involving the elderly and small children.
- Recommend that participants wear protective clothing such as lightweight long pants and long-sleeved shirts.
- Provide insect repellants or ask participants to put on repellant prior to outdoor events and activities (Repellants with DEET are effective, but should be applied sparingly. Products under 10% DEET are recommended for children).
- Don't leave doors and windows open unless they are screened. Avoid propping doors open even for short periods.
- Make certain that screens are in good repair - free from openings.
- Eliminate areas of standing water around entrances and elsewhere as applicable.
- Eliminate or treat standing water. Avoid the formation of stagnant water.
- Water collection areas and ponds should be treated for mosquito larvae (contact EH&S for information on various options)
- Fix leaking fixtures as soon as possible and tighten loose seals.
You can get printed information about the virus from EH&S. Call 549.2513 to receive pamphlets or contact the Pueblo City - County Health Department. A poster with procedures listed in Spanish is also available from EH&S or the health department.
Though over 110 species of birds are known to have been infected with West Nile virus, most survive. Thus far, testing locally is focused mostly on crows and jays found dead within Pueblo County.
If you spot dead birds (specifically birds in the corvid family such as crows, magpies, ravens, and jays - American crows constitute the majority of birds reported positive for WN virus) on campus grounds, contact the EH&S department at 549.2513. Wear gloves to handle any carcass. On campus call EH&S for collection information and reporting. Off campus contact your local health department for information.
Other Sources of Information: