Part two of three
There is no vaccine for the West Nile virus for humans. Since the disease is transmitted by mosquitoes, the best way to protect yourself from the potentially dangerous infection is to reduce the mosquito breeding areas on your property and to keep mosquitoes from biting you.
The Clay County Health Department suggests these steps to help reduce mosquito bites this summer.
- Use a mosquito repellent that contains DEET and follow the label directions. Do not use DEET on infants, but cover baby's carriage or playpen with mosquito netting when outdoors. Do not apply DEET to the hands of children or around their mouth and eyes. Do not use concentrations of DEET greater than 10 percent on children, and for most purposes, products greater than 35 percent are not needed on adults. Always use just enough repellent to cover skin and clothing. Do not place on skin covered by clothing and do not spray on the face.
- Wear a long sleeved shirt, long pants and shoes when outdoors from dusk to dawn. Clothing should be light colored and tightly woven.
- Fix any holes in your screens and make sure they are tightly attached to all your doors and windows.
- Minimize outdoor activities between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
- Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or camping.
Following these five simples steps will help reduce your chance of contracting West Nile virus from an infected mosquito.
Tomorrow: Preventing West Nile Encephalitis in horses.