West Nile Virus
While you are enjoying your favorite outdoor activities, don't forget to protect yourself from mosquitos. Mosquito bites can be more than just annoying and itchy. They can make you really sick.
How West Nile Virus is Transmitted
West Nile Virus is transmitted by mosquitoes and affects the nervous system. It is spread to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. The virus cannot be transmitted from one person to another or from birds to people.
Some people infected with the West Nile Virus may develop:
- Body Aches
- Swollen Lymph Glands
Serious short-term and potentially permanent central nervous system illness (i.e., coma, convulsions, paralysis) may occur in a few people infected with West Nile Virus.
How to Protect Your Family
Avoid Mosquito Bites
Although the very young, the elderly and those with weaker immune systems have the highest risk of becoming seriously ill from West Nile Virus, everyone should take steps to avoid mosquito bites.
- Many mosquitoes that transmit West Nile Virus bite between dusk and dawn. It is possible for mosquitoes that bite in the daytime to also transmit the West Nile Virus. To the extent possible, stay indoors at dusk and at dawn when mosquitoes are most active;
- Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, socks and shoes when outdoors;
- Spray insect repellent with the active ingredients of DEET or Picardin (both provide longer lasting protection than others) on exposed skin and clothing when outdoors, following product directions; and
- Use screens on open windows, and repair any holes.
Eliminate Mosquito Breeding Sites
Reduce breeding mosquitoes in your yard and in your neighborhood by eliminating standing water where mosquitoes lay their eggs.
- Remove discarded automobile tires and put drainage holes in playground tires;
- Remove or turn over buckets and other containers that can collect rain water;
- Turn over children’s wading pools, wheelbarrows, canoes and garbage can lids;
- Clean roof gutters and downspout screens regularly;
- Flush bird baths and potted plant drainage trays twice weekly;
- Fix dripping outdoor water faucets, and eliminate puddles under air conditioners;
- Clean and chlorinate swimming pools; and
- Adjust tarps over pools, boats, etc. so that rainwater will not collect.
Additional Mosquito Protection Tips