How to protect yourself from West Nile - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

How to protect yourself from West Nile

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Across Alabama 12 cases of West Nile Virus have been confirmed.  One death has been reported.  Friday, State Health Officer Dr. Don Williams reported to media that one person has died from the virus.  A Montgomery County adult died from West Nile Virus.

So how do you protect your family and yourself?  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the best way to prevent the most common mosquito-borne diseases such as WNV and EEE is to avoid mosquito bites by following these recommendations:

·        Use insect repellents when going outdoors.
·        Wear long sleeves and pants during dawn and dusk.
·        Install or repair screens on windows and doors. Use air conditioning, if available.
·        Empty standing water from items outside homes, such as flowerpots, buckets and children's pools.

Repellents are an important tool to assist people in protecting themselves from mosquito-borne diseases. CDC recommends the use of repellents containing active ingredients which have been registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for use as repellents applied to skin and clothing. Products containing these active ingredients typically provide reasonably long-lasting protection. These include the following: 
·       DEET 
·       Picaridin 
·       Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus or PMD, the synthesized version of oil of lemon eucalyptus 
·       IR3535 

Insect repellents must state any age restrictions. According to the label, oil of lemon eucalyptus products should not be used on children under 3 years of age. Parents should choose the type and concentration of repellent to be used by taking into account the amount of time a child will be outdoors, exposure to mosquitoes, and the risk of mosquito-transmitted disease in the area. People should consult their health care provider for advice about using repellent products on children.

"With many people enjoying outdoor activities, it is important that residents take every effort to reduce their exposure to mosquitoes," Dr. Dee W. Jones, State Public Health Veterinarian, advises. "Keep your mosquito repellent with you at all times when you are working or participating in recreational activities outdoors."