(RxWiki News) It is that time again... mosquito season. Here's how to protect you and your family.
West Nile virus, which is spread through mosquito bites, can sometimes lead to serious illness and death. West Nile season is currently in full swing, as most infections typically start in the summer and continues through fall.
Here is what you need to know:
- Most people who become infected will not feel sick.
- 1/5 people will develop a fever, headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting/diarrhea or rash.
- Approximately, 1 out of 150 will develop a serious illness (sometimes can be fatal).
Unfortunately, there are no vaccines to prevent or medications to treat west nile virus. However, there are a few things you can do to proetct you and your family.
1. Use insect repellent
Look for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents with one of the active ingredients:
- Picaridin (known as KBR 3023 and icaridin outside the US)
- Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE)
- Para-menthane-diol (PMD)
- Always follow the instructions listed on the product's label.
- Reapply repellent as directed.
2. Wear protective clothing
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants
- You have the option to treat your clothing with 0.5% permethrin or you can buy clothes already treated.
- For babies and toddlers, cover strollers and baby carriers with a mosquito net.
3. Control your environment
- Use screens on windows and doors.
- Use air conditioning, if an option.
- Prevent and eliminate standing water (e.g. buckets, planters, toys, birdbaths, flowerpots, trashcans)
If you think you or a loved one might have West Nile virus, speak with your health care provider.