Fall Mosquitoes Still Carry West Nile Threat

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Cooler conditions and turning leaves are a sure sign autumn has begun. Though considered primarily a summertime nuisance, mosquitoes are still active in Iowa.

The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) reminds Iowans that West Nile and other mosquito-related diseases continue to be a concern in the fall, and remain a threat until the first frost. Precautions to reduce the risk of exposure to these diseases should still be taken.

"Our West Nile surveillance continues to detect activity in Iowa, so we encourage Iowans to still take measures to protect themselves and their loved ones from mosquito borne diseases," said IDPH Public Health Veterinarian, Dr. Ann Garvey. "It remains important to eliminate mosquito breeding areas and use insect repellant when outdoors."

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* Use insect repellent with DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Always read the repellent label and consult a health care provider if you have questions when using these types of products for children. For example, DEET should not be used on infants less than 2 months old and oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under 3 years old.

* Avoid outdoor activities at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.

* Wear long-sleeved shirts, pants, shoes, and socks whenever possible outdoors.

* Eliminate standing water around the home because that's where mosquitoes lay eggs. Empty water from buckets, cans, pool covers and pet water dishes. Change water in bird baths every three to four days.

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