What You Can do to Prevent West Nile Virus

August 10, 2015 09:16 AM

State health officials recommendations on West Nile

  • Avoid places where mosquitoes are biting; 
  • Apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus to clothes and exposed skin; 
  • Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of the home; and,
  • When possible, wear pants and long sleeves, especially if walking in wooded or marshy areas.
  • To reduce potential mosquito breeding grounds:
  • Discard old tires, tin cans, ceramic pots or other containers that can hold water; 
  • Repair failed septic systems; 
  • Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers left outdoors; 
  • Keep grass cut short and shrubbery trimmed; 
  • Clean clogged roof gutters, particularly if leaves tend to plug up the drains; 
  • Frequently replace the water in pet bowls;
  • Flush ornamental fountains and birdbaths periodically; and, 
  • Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with predatory fish.

West Nile virus usually causes West Nile fever, a milder form of the illness, which can include fever, headache, body aches, swollen lymph glands or a rash. Some individuals will develop a more severe form of the disease with encephalitis or meningitis and other severe syndromes, including flaccid muscle paralysis.

Individuals who think they may have West Nile virus should see their healthcare provider. 

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