West Nile Virus Prevention Tips


The CDC recently announced that a total of 45 states and the District of Columbia have reported cases of West Nile Virus, and as of August 21, 2018, a total of 231 human cases have been reported. West Nile Virus most commonly spreads to humans through mosquito bites and since there is no vaccine or antiviral treatment available the most effective way to prevent infection is to prevent mosquito bites.

Most people who become infected do not experience any symptoms. However, severe cases of the infection include symptoms of headaches, fever, neck stiffness, and muscle weakness.

In the United States, cases of West Nile virus occur during mosquito season, which starts in the Spring and continues through the fall. To prevent mosquito bites, make sure you are taking the following steps:

  • Use insect repellant containing DEET
  • Eliminate mosquito breeding sites by removing all sources of stagnant water such as flower pots, buckets, and barrels
  • Change the water in pet dishes and replace the water in bird baths weekly
  • Clean out rain gutters
  • Cut back or get rid of any unnecessary vegetation around your home where mosquitos can breed and rest
  • Keep windows and doors screened to prevent mosquitos from getting inside your home

 

You can also hire a pest control company and setup a monthly mosquito control program for your yard to drastically reduce mosquito populations.