WEST NILE VIRUS
Avoid Mosquito Bites to Avoid Infection:
When dealing with West Nile virus, prevention is your best bet. Fighting mosquito bites reduces your risk of getting this disease, along with others that mosquitoes can carry. Take the commonsense steps below to reduce your risk:
· Avoid bites and illness
¨ Apply Insect Repellent Containing DEET to exposed skin when you go outdoors. Even a short time being outdoors can be long enough to get a mosquito bite.
¨ When possible, wear long-sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors. Mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing, so spray clothes with repellent for extra protection.
¨ Be aware of peak mosquito hours. The hours from dusk to dawn are peak mosquito biting times for many species of mosquitoes. Take extra care to use repellent and protective clothing during evening and early morning hours—or consider avoiding outdoor activities during these times.
· Clean out the mosquitoes from the places where you work and play
¨ Drain standing water where mosquitoes lay their eggs. Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by getting rid of items that hold water.
¨ Install or repair screens so mosquitoes cannot get indoors. Keep them outside by having well-fitting screens on both windows and doors.
· Help your community control the disease
¨ Report dead birds (crows and blue jays only) to local authorities. Dead birds may be a sign that West Nile virus is circulating between birds and the mosquitoes in an area.
Something to remember: 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.
For more information, visit www.cdc.gov/westnile