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Steps to Prevent West Nile Virus

image courtesy maps WNV to date for 2012

Ticks aren’t the only parasite to benefit from an unusually mild winter. Mosquitos are abundant this year and so is one disease in particular that they carry, West Nile. It is already the worst year on record for the disease in both cases reported and incidences of death from West Nile. So far, there are at least 3 cases in south Georgia of fatal West Nile infections.

This year it is especially important to be proactive in preventing mosquito bites and there are a number of things we can do.

•Empty buckets, pots, and (at our house especially) wagons of standing water. This is where mosquitos lay their eggs!
•Wear light-colored clothing.
•Apply insect repellent containing DEET to exposed skin, and permethrin to clothing (this is the same advice the CDC recommends to prevent ticks).
•Limit outdoor time during peak mosquito activity time, dusk to dawn.
•Report dead birds to local authorities. They can be a sign of West Nile in the area.

West Nile is said to feel similar to flu, so if you have recently received several mosquito bites and begin to feel ill, it is wise to take precautions and see your doctor.