West Nile Virus Hits Close To Home

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West Nile Virus

Summer's hot, humid temperatures can bring mosquitoes that potentially carry deadly diseases like West Nile Virus.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), West Nile Virus caused at least 177 fatalities in 2006(1). This year, families across the country are urged to take proper steps to protect themselves.

"Though few mosquitoes carry the West Nile Virus, an infective bite can be fatal," says Kelly Semrau, vice president of Global Public Affairs and Communication for SC Johnson. "Protection can be as easy as applying an insect repellent with DEET or Picaridin."

Protect Yourself, Protect Your Family

West Nile Virus is transmitted from mosquitoes to humans and is particularly dangerous to the elderly and to people with compromised immune systems. According to the CDC and other sources, the following preventative measures can help ensure protection from mosquito bites:

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-- Use Insect Repellent. Apply an insect repellent with DEET. OFF! personal insect repellents, including new OFF! FamilyCare Smooth & Dry, offer a range of products with varying levels of protection to meet individual needs.

-- Break-Up Breeding. Empty all standing water from flower pots, buckets, pet dishes and children's wading pools to help decrease places where mosquitoes rest and breed.

-- Take Cover. Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants that cover exposed skin to help reduce mosquito bites.

-- Avoid Prime Biting Times. Avoid the outdoors during peak times for mosquitoes, including dusk, dawn, nighttime, and periods of heavy cloud cover and humidity.

-- Add Protection. Make sure all shirts have wrist closures and tuck pant legs into socks. Also spray a DEET-based repellent on your shoes and clothing to help fend off mosquitoes.

-- Monitor Mosquito Alerts. Watch for public advisories concerning encephalitis alerts.

Know the Symptoms

The early stages of the West Nile Virus may include symptoms like severe headaches, fever, nausea and vomiting, disorientation, chills and muscle aches. These symptoms will usually appear five to 15 days after the bite from an infected mosquito. A person should seek immediate medical attention if experiencing more than one of these symptoms.

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