Second 2013 mosquito pool positive test for West Nile Virus Confirmed for Prowers County

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Lamar, CO– Prowers County Public Health and Environment officials have received lab confirmation of West Nile in a sample pool of mosquitoes collected on the night of July 15th.  This positive result is from a number of surveillance locations in and around the city. 

Seth Odette, Environmental Health Specialist for Prowers County Public Health and Environment (PCPHE), confirms that PCPHE began surveillance of mosquitoes in late June, and that this positive result is the second in a mosquito pool in our surveillance area.  Mr. Odette stresses that there has now been positive confirmation of West Nile in mosquitoes in and around the city of Lamar for two consecutive weeks.   

Due to the Public Health significance of West Nile Virus, PCPHE is urging citizens to increase their focus towards preventative measures in their daily activities.  Keith Siemsen, Manager of Environmental Health adds, “The good news is that West Nile virus is preventable, and now is the time to take precautions against the disease.” 

Additional precautions to take against West Nile virus include: 

DRAIN standing water around the house weekly since it’s where mosquitoes lay eggs, including: tires, cans, flowerpots, clogged rain gutters, rain barrels, toys and puddles.

DUSK & DAWN are when mosquitoes that carry the virus are most active, so limit outdoor activities or take precautions to prevent mosquito bites.

DEET is an effective ingredient to look for in insect repellents. Always follow label instructions carefully.

DRESS in long sleeves and pants during dawn and dusk or in areas where mosquitoes are active.

For tanks and ponds use larvacides as directed, larvacides can be purchased at various retail centers in Prowers County

West Nile Virus has an incubation period of 3 days to two weeks. It can result in fever, meningitis and encephalitis, and has the potential for causing long-term illness and disability. The virus can affect any age group; however the chance that any one person is going to become ill from a single mosquito bite remains low. The risk of severe illness and death is highest for people over 50 years old, although people of all ages can become ill. Symptoms may include fever, fatigue, headache, muscle weakness, rash, stiff neck or changed mental state. If you have any of these symptoms please see your health care provider.

Don’t let mosquitoes ruin your summer…. Keep insect repellent handy and get rid of mosquito breeding sites in the yard! 

For more information you can call Prowers County Public Health and Environment at 336-8721 or you can visit  or CDC 

Keith Siemsen
Manager of Environmental Health
Prowers County Public Health and Environment
1001 South Main Lamar, CO 81052


(Editor’s Note: Additional Information)

In light of the two West Nile Virus confirmations, Lamar City Administrator, John Sutherland, said the city has become more aggressive in its insect control program, concentrating operations on the eastern portion of the city.   

Sutherland said the city routinely begins its larvacide program in April, controlling mosquito growth by adding the chemicals to standing pools of water and along stream beds.  He said the City Public Works crews also spray an airborne insecticide after a rainfall, usually in the early morning to avoid direct contact with Lamar residents.  He added, “Since we’ve had the first West Nile Virus notification from the county health department, we’ve upped the level of spraying in those areas more prone to mosquito breeding.”

Sutherland added that the city will continue an aggressive mosquito control campaign through the summer months as long as it is needed. ************************************************

City Public Works Director, Pat Mason also provided an update for Administrator Sutherland on steps the city is taking to control the mosquito population: 

“In light of the recent positive test results for West Nile Virus I wanted to brief you on the control measures currently in place to address the mosquito population.  

Crews have been Larvaciding the City’s creeks and water ways since  mid April of this year. The Larvacide has a life of 30 days according to the label. Crews re apply the product every 20 days in order to provide some overlap in protection. In addition Crews have been spraying the City weekly to provide an additional layer of protection and control. The goal of spraying is to cover the entire City a minimum of once per week. Weather allowing spraying will take place during the hours between sun down and sun up.  

Crews plan to do some extra spraying in the area of the fairgrounds later this week prior to the kick off of the Sand and Sage fair events in an effort to increase protection for Citizens that attend the event. 

With the help of the local media disseminating information on proper protective measures to avoid mosquito exposure and the City’s effort regarding control I believe we can greatly minimize the potential for exposure to the West Nile Virus. 

Please feel free contact me if you have any questions.”

Best Regards 

Patrick Mason
City of Lamar
Public Works Director
102 East Parmenter

By Russ Baldwin


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