Prevention is Key for West Nile Virus
For West Nile Virus, birds are the vector. Mosquitoes who bite infected birds can pass the virus on to humans. The virus is amplified over the summer in bird populations and hotter than normal temperatures this summer may be a factor in the increased cases we are seeing this year. It is not spread by human-to-human contact or from other animals to humans.
- Aching muscles and head ache
- Swollen lymph glands
- Skin rash
- Eliminate standing water including flower pots, plastic containers, wading pools, and roof gutters. Fill birdbaths with fresh water at least once a week. Mosquitoes are aquatic and they must have standing water to develop from egg to adult.
- Wear light colored clothing, long sleeve shirts or long pants, especially in the evening when mosquitoes are most active. Mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors.
- Mosquitoes are attracted to sweat and perfumes.
- Use mosquito repellent if outdoors, especially from dusk to dawn. Sprays and lotions containing DEET are the most effective but use products with 30% or less DEET and for children use 15% or less. Oil of lemon eucalyptus, a plant-based repellent is also effective. Repellents don’t kill mosquitoes; they just make you less attractive.
- Sonic repellants do not work but smoke pots and citronella candles can help.