West Nile Virus in the US
Cases of West Nile Virus have been popping up around the United States. Here are some ways to protect yourself and stay aware of this deadly virus:
West Nile Virus (WNV) is a virus spread to humans through the bite of a mosquito that is infected with WNV after biting a bird that carries the virus. Most people infected with WNV have either no symptoms or experience a mild illness such as fever, headache, and body aches. However, in some individuals, mostly the elderly, a much more serious disease affecting brain tissue can develop.
Bird baths and other places where standing water collects are ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes, which can become infected with West Nile Virus after biting birds. Make sure your water has movement and filtration.
- To protect yourself:
- • Apply insect repellents that contain the active ingredient DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or other EPA-approved ingredient to exposed skin or clothing, always following the manufacturer’s directions for use.
- • Avoid shaded and wooded areas where mosquitoes may be present.
- • Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, socks, and shoes when outdoors.
- • Limit outdoor activity between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
- To control the mosquito population:
- • Empty standing water from flower pots, pet bowls, clogged rain gutters, swimming pool covers, old tires, buckets, barrels, cans, and similar items where mosquitoes can lay eggs.
- • Maintain window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
For more information on West Nile Virus visit the CDC's WNV website
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