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West Nile Virus - Protection Printer Friendly Version

Avoid Mosquito Bites to Avoid Infection

Human illness from West Nile virus is rare, even in areas where the virus has been reported. The chance that any one person is going to become ill from a mosquito bite is low.

You can further reduce your chances of becoming ill by protecting yourself from mosquito bites.

To avoid mosquito bites:

  • Apply insect repellent containing DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide), picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus (p-menthane or PMD) when you're outdoors. DEET should be used with caution on children DEET is not recommended for the very young. Products containing oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on the very young.
  • When possible, wear long-sleeved clothes and long pants treated with repellents containing permethrin or DEET since mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing. Do not apply repellents containing permethrin directly to exposed skin. If you spray your clothing, there is no need to spray repellent containing DEET on the skin under your clothing.
  • Consider staying indoors at dawn, dusk, and in the early evening, which are peak mosquito biting times.
  • Limit the number of places available for mosquitoes to lay their eggs by eliminating standing water sources from around your home.

Check to see if there is an organized mosquito control program in your area. If no program exists, work with your local government officials to establish a program. The American Mosquito Control Association can provide advice, and their book Organization for Mosquito Control is a useful reference. Another source of information about pesticides and repellents is the National Pesticide Information Center, which also operates a toll-free information line: 1-800-858-7378.

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This page was last modified onMonday, July 26, 2010 9:21
http://www.nps.gov/public_health/zed/wnv/wnv_ppe.htm