8/31/2012Beat the Bite: Keep Mosquitoes at Bay
Enjoy the Outdoors & Beat the Bite
Labor Day is almost here, marking the end of summer but not the end of mosquito season. Help protect your family and pets against bites and the West Nile Virus by practicing a few easy steps:
1. Eliminate Breeding Sites :
-Remove standing water
-Make sure roof gutters drain properly and remove and clogs
-Clean and chlorinate swimming pools
-Change out birdbaths at least twice a week
-Keep weeds, tall grass and bushes trimmed around your house
-Remind and/or help neighbors to eliminate breeding sites on their property
2. Avoid Mosquito Bites:
-When outside use effective mosquito repellent. DEET, Pecaridin, and oil of lemon eucalyptus are effective repellents recommended by the CDC.
-Cover up with long sleeves and pants
-If possible avoid peak biting hours from dusk to dawn
-Repair/ replace window and door screens to keep mosquito out of the home
-Place mosquito netting over infant carriers when outdoors with infants What you should know about the West Nile Virus (WNV)
The DeKalb County Board of Health, Division of Environmental Health routinely traps mosquitoes throughout the county to test them for WNV. Recently, mosquitoes in Dunwoody have tested positive for the virus.
What is WNV? West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne virus that can cause encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord).
How does WNV spread? West Nile virus is spread to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. West Nile virus is not spread by person-to-person contact such as touching, kissing or caring for someone who is infected.
What are the symptoms of West Nile virus? Symptoms usually occur 3-15 days after the bite of an infected mosquito. Most people who are infected with West Nile virus have no symptoms or experience mild illness such as fever, headache and body aches before fully recovering. In some individuals, West Nile virus can cause serious disease that affects brain tissue. At its most serious, it can cause permanent neurological damage and can be fatal. Encephalitis, symptoms include the rapid onset of severe headache, high fever, stiff neck, confusion, loss of consciousness (coma), tremors (shaking), muscle weakness and paralysis. Death may result in some cases. Who is at increased risk of disease?
If they become infected, persons aged 50 or over and people with weakened immune systems are at highest risk of severe forms of the disease. However, anyone can become infected.
How is a West Nile infection treated? There is no specific therapy. In severe cases, intensive supportive therapy is indicated, such as hospitalization, intravenous (IV) fluids and nutrition, airway management, breathing support (ventilator), prevention of secondary infections (pneumonia, urinary tract infection, etc.) and good nursing care.
How does the DeKalb County Board of Health protect the community? The DeKalb County Board of Health, Division of Environmental Health routinely traps mosquitoes throughout the county and tests them for WNV. In July 2012, thirty-five percent of the mosquito pools tested contained at least one positive mosquito, compared with ten percent in July 2011. They have placed larvicide in public sources of standing water throughout the county to disrupt the breeding cycle of mosquitoes. They have gone door to door in areas with WNV positive mosquito pools to provide information about prevention. They can also provide, upon request, an assessment of private property to identify potential breeding grounds and information on risk reduction.
Additional information sources: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Georgia Department of Agriculture U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
For more information about West Nile virus or to request assistance with a mosquito problem, call the DeKalb County Board of Health, Division of Environmental Health at 404-508-7871.