Many mark summer not by BBQs and pool parties but by the addition of mosquitoes, which are becoming a much larger threat than merely a pesky steps-to-prevent-west-nile-virusnuisance. Over the past few years, we have seen cases of West Nile Virus being diagnosed, and in 2015 alone 10 cases of West Nile Virus in humans were detected in Connecticut . This past week, we learned of 4 new CT towns where West Nile Virus (WNV) carrying mosquitoes tested positive for the virus.

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What is West Nile Virus

West Nile virus is an arthropod-borne virus most commonly spread by infected mosquitoes. West Nile virus can cause febrile illness, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord).

West Nile virus transmission has been documented in Europe and the Middle East, Africa, India, parts of Asia, and Australia. It was first detected in North America in 1999, and has since spread across the continental United States and Canada.

It can include symptoms such as

  • fevers and chills
  • swollen glands
  • severe headache
  • confusion
  • and in extreme cases, altered state of mind
  • coma
  • paralysis and/or
  • vision loss

As of now, there is no treatment or cure for WNV which is why prevention is so important. Here are the things that you can do to prevent West Nile virus. We go at it from 2 angles: controlling the breeding of mosquitos, as well as preventing mosquito bites.

9 Steps to Prevent West Nile Virus

Mosquito Control Tips

The first defense against mosquitoes is eliminating habitats for breeding. Mosquitos breed in pools of stagnant water, so use the following tips and do your part to control the mosquito population in your area

  • Change your pet’s water dish daily
  • Drain water from garbage cans, gutters, coolers, toys, tree stumps, tires, or any other containers where stagnant water can collect
  • Change water in bird baths or flower pots at least twice per week
  • Cover swimming pools or hot tubs when not in use and be sure to keep them properly chlorinated
  • Keep grass short and trim shrubs to eliminate hiding places for adult mosquitoes

Mosquito Bite Prevention Tips

In situations where existing mosquito populations are difficult to eliminate or where you don’t have full control your environment, follow these mosquito bite prevention tips:

  • Limit outdoor activity between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active
  • Apply DEET containing mosquito repellent to bare skin and clothing, following directions carefully, as DEET can be harmful to children under the age of three.
  • When possible, cover bare skin as much as possible with long pants, long sleeves, socks, and covered shoes.
  • Mosquitoes are attracted to bacteria in sweat so, when possible, change your clothes and take regular showers to rid yourself of excessive sweat.

AFC Urgent Care West Hartford is available 7 days a week to provide quality, personalized care and relief for your symptoms with no appointment necessary. Because quality, affordable care for all is our goal, we accept most insurances and offer deeply discounted rates for our uninsured patients.

For more information, give us a call at 860.986.6440.