Monday, May 4, 2009

Avoid Mosquito Bites to Prevent West Nile Virus

Each summer season brings with it the risk of West Nile Virus, which is transmitted to humans from the bite of infected mosquitoes. Reducing the number of mosquitoes by eliminating their breeding sites is an effective prevention measure.

Mosquitoes breed in stagnant water, so city residents should eliminate places where they breed around the home by emptying water from objects in their yards and other places where stagnant water accumulates. Check them at least once a week, if not daily.

Other precautions to reduce the chances of being bitten include:

  • Wearing light-colored, long-sleeved shirts and long pants
  • Staying indoors when mosquitoes are most active in the early morning and dusk
  • Properly applying insect repellant that contains no more than 40 percent DEET for adults and less than 30 percent for children. Don't use DEET repellant on infants.
The Department of Public Utilities' stormwater teams will be out cleaning storm drains and other areas where mosquitoes can breed. If you see standing water on public property, call 644-3000.

For more information, visit the Virginia Department of Health.

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