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Mosquitoes Killed 48 Coloradans in 2023; Don’t Become a Statistic This Summer

DENVER, COLORADO – As the warmth of summer approaches, Colorado hikers and outdoor enthusiasts are urged to exercise caution against an often underestimated threat—mosquitoes. Last year, these pests were responsible for more fatalities in Colorado than any other form of wildlife, highlighting a critical public health concern as we step into the warmer months.

In 2023, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reported a dramatic spike in West Nile Virus cases, a serious illness transmitted by mosquitoes. The state witnessed 619 infections and 48 deaths, making it the second deadliest year since records began in 2003. Public health officials attribute this rise to last year’s unusually wet spring and summer, which created ideal breeding conditions for mosquitoes.

The heightened mosquito activity coincides with a season when Coloradans spend considerable time outdoors, amplifying the risk of exposure. This year’s mosquito season, typically extending from May through October, demands increased vigilance. 

Hikers, campers, and all outdoor enthusiasts are strongly advised to use insect repellent, wear long-sleeved shirts and pants, and avoid areas with high mosquito activity, especially during dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.

Reporting from the Colorado Sun indicated that the 2023 infections were widespread, affecting various parts of the state and showing that no area was safe from the reach of these dangerous insects. Similar outbreaks were also reported in neighboring western states, including California, Wyoming, Texas, and the Dakotas, as noted by UC Health.

The reminder to stay protected against mosquitoes is not just about avoiding discomfort but ensuring safety. With mosquito safety measures in place, Coloradans can enjoy the state’s beautiful outdoor spaces while safeguarding their health against potentially fatal diseases.

Alex Derr, Founder of The Next Summit

Alex Derr is an Eagle Scout, climber, and environmental policy expert located in Denver, Colorado. He created The Next Summit to help others stay safe exploring the mountains and advocate to preserve the peaks for the future. Follow him on Linkedin or Twitter or click here to contact him.

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Hi, I'm Alex!

In 2018, I watched in disbelief as dozens of people hiked into a storm on Longs Peak, unaware of the extreme danger. Soon after, I started The Next Summit to educate and empower the public to safely and responsibly explore America's mountains.

Learn more about how we protect public lands and prevent SAR calls through education & advocacy.

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