Adequate Protection from the West Nile Virus

June to September is West Nile virus season. West Nile Fever is caused by a flavovirus, which is transmitted by mosquitoes who feed on birds and then humans.. the majority of cases are symptomless, but about 10-20 % have symptoms including abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, headache, lack of appetite, muscle aches, nausea, rash, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, and vomiting. Less than a percent of infected individuals subsequently have a neurological condition. These can be either West Nile Encephalitis or West Nile Meningitis. Manifestations of neurological disease may include confusion, loss of consciousness, loss of muscle strength, stiffness, and arm or leg weakness. Approximately 1 in 10 individuals who develop brain inflamation will not survive.

Community efforts to eliminate mosquitoes, the vector of West Nile Virus, include elimination of mosquito breeding areas as well as prevention of mosquito entrance into dwellings. Areas of standing water are breeding grounds for mosquitoes, so elimination of standing water around the house decreases the number of mosquitoes in the area. Spraying with appropriate insecticides further decreases the mosquito population. Pest control specialists can be called in for backyard mosquito control. Using screens in all windows of the home, stops mosquito entrance into the home. The final stand against being bitten is personal prevention. Anyone living or visiting a mosquito infested area should put on pants and a shirt with long sleeves. And use a mosquito repellent. It is critical to keep in mind that mosquitoes can bite thorugh thin clothes, so if you are wearing thin apparel you should spray them as well as your self.

According to Dovid Davis, the director of A # 1 Pest Control, there is a chemical in fabric softener that successfully repels mosquitoes. People can take advantage of this by putting the suit of clothing they are planning to wear to a mosquito infected area in a dryer with 2 strips of fabric softener. they should turn on the dryer for about 10 minutes, during which time the chemicals in the fabric softener will permeate the clothing. Dovid says anyone who is subsequently wearing those clothes will not be bit by a mosquito.

Resource:
Baltimore, Md. Exterminator
A # 1 Pest Control of Baltimore; 7236 Park Heights Avenue; Apt. A. ,Baltimore, MD. 21208; 410-764-7500;

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