Colorado has escaped the West Nile problems seen elsewhere in the country; through August 21st there have been 5 human cases of WNV and no deaths. However, outside of Colorado, the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that WNV is the worst ever seen in the United States. Texas has the most human cases with 537; to help put that in perspective in 2003, Colorado's worse year, we had 392 human cases through mid August and in 2003 Colorado had one-fourth the population of what Texas has in 2012. The reason for the high number of cases this year is unclear, but the unusually warm weather could have fostered favorable conditions for the disease's transfer to humans.
The best advise is to help prevent West Nile with the "four Ds."
• Use mosquito repellent with DEET
• Dress in long pants and long sleeves
• Be especially careful at dusk and dawn
• Drain any standing water, such as kiddie pools or bird fountains, where mosquitoes like to breed.