You have no doubt been hearing a lot about the West Nile Virus in the news lately. But do you know what it is? Do you know how to protect yourself, your staff, and your residents?
What is West Nile Virus?
According to the CDC, West Nile virus (WNV) is a potentially serious illness that is most often spread by the bite of an infected mesquito. About 1 in 150 people infected with WNV will develop severe illness that can include high fever, headache, disorientation, come, and even paralysis. Approximately 80% of people infected with WNV do not show any symptoms at all.
How can you prevent West Nile Virus?
According to the CDC, the easiest and best way to avoid WNV is to prevent mosquito bites.
- When you are outdoors, use insect repellent containing an EPA-registered active ingredient. Follow the directions on the package.
- Many mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn. Be sure to use insect repellent and wear long sleeves and pants at these times or consider staying indoors during these hours.
- Make sure you have good screens on your windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.
- Get rid of mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from flower pots, buckets and barrels. Change the water in pet dishes and replace the water in bird baths weekly. Drill holes in tire swings so water drains out. Keep children’s wading pools empty and on their sides when they aren’t being used.