Protect Yourself, Your Family and Your Community from West Nile Virus

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When dealing with West Nile virus, prevention is your best bet. Fighting mosquito bites reduces your risk of getting this disease, along with others that mosquitoes can carry. Take the commonsense steps below to reduce your risk:

Avoid bites and illness

While the chance that any one person is going to become ill from a single mosquito bite remains low it is important to avoid mosquito bites. One easy way to protect yourself is by using insect repellents that contain DEET. Another sure way to avoid mosquito bites is by wearing clothing that leaves a smaller amount of exposed skin. Long sleeved shirts and pants are a good way to protect yourself from mosquito bites. Outdoor activities come at all different times of the day and night, however it is good to know that if you want to avoid mosquito bites peak mosquito hours are from dusk to dawn.

Clean out the mosquitoes from the places where you work and play

Mosquito proofing the house is simple. Mosquito lay their eggs in standing water, so simply limit the number of places where water can accumulate. By reducing the number of places where you have standing water you reduce their breeding ground. You can also keep mosquitoes from coming indoors by placing well-fitted screens around the house.

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Help your community control the disease

Report Dead Birds to Local Authorities. Dead birds may be a sign that West Nile virus is circulating between birds and the mosquitoes in an area. By reporting dead birds to state and local health departments, you can play an important role in monitoring West Nile virus. You can also help clean up around your neighborhood and reduce mosquito breeding grounds.

For more information on West Nile virus please visit http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/index.htm

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The source of this article is http://www.hhs.gov

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