Colorado State University Prepares Students to Protect Themselves Against West Nile Virus

Colorado State University officials will launch a multi-pronged educational campaign about West Nile Virus that targets students when they arrive back on campus this week.

The campaign continues as part of a comprehensive West Nile Virus and mosquito mitigation effort on behalf of Colorado State that began last May. Students, who will begin moving into residence halls on Aug. 21 will receive information about West Nile Virus and steps they can take to prevent exposure to the virus.

"Colorado State University has been successful in reducing mosquito populations this spring with an integrated pest management approach including trapping, global positioning satellite mapping of potential mosquito breeding grounds and appropriate use of larvicides and insecticides," said Earlie Thomas, Colorado State director of Environmental Health Services. "Although our mosquito populations are lower as a result of this effort and the first hard frost will likely come within a few weeks, we want students to be vigilant in protecting themselves. We’re doing everything we can to arm them with useful information and resources to do so."

The educational campaign includes providing every student who moves into university housing with flyers about West Nile Virus. Flyers also will be available online and at the office of Off-Campus Student Services for off-campus students, as well as on the Colorado State Web site, and informational posters will be displayed around campus. The university is launching a student-oriented educational Web page about West Nile Virus linked from  

In addition to providing educational material to students, the university also will make DEET-containing hand and body wipes and DEET insect repellent available to students on move-in day. DEET repellent will be available at the residence hall main desks throughout the next few weeks, and DEET wipes will continue to be available through the Hartshorn Health Service at Colorado State throughout mosquito-biting season. Hartshorn Health Service also has educated various departments on campus, including campus police services, about symptoms of West Nile Virus.

DEET repellent also will be available during large university events including RamFest, a five-day student orientation and welcome festival that includes an Old Town scavenger hunt, an annual student hike up to the "A" above Hughes Stadium, an outdoor concert, a new student cookout and student ticket sales line for tickets to the Colorado State vs. University of Colorado football game.

Campus officials will focus on reminding students to take appropriate measures to protect themselves from mosquito bites. Recommended precautions include using DEET-containing repellent, wearing proper clothing, avoiding mosquito-laden areas and staying indoors at dawn and dusk.