What Is West Nile Virus?

West Nile Virus is a strain of encephalitis, a serious and sometimes deadly viral disease that can be carried by some mosquitoes
First found in the United States in 1999, West Nile Virus has been reported in 46 states.
In 2007, West Nile Virus was responsible for 115 deaths in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Who Is Most at Risk?

People over the age of 50, young children, and those with conditions that compromise the immune system

Symptoms of West Nile Virus:

West Nile symptoms usually appear between five and 15 days after a bite from an infected mosquito.

In the early stages, these symptoms may include:

· Severe headaches
· Fever,
· Nausea and vomiting
· Disorientation
· Chills,
· Muscle aches, pain, stiffness, or all three

If you experience any of these symptoms after being bitten by a mosquito, you should immediately seek medical attention.

Tips for Preventing Mosquito Bites:

Apply an insect repellent with an active ingredient registered by EPA such as DEET or Picaridin
Prevent mosquitoes from breeding (SEE BELOW)

Deter with DEET:

Mosquito Shield® personal insect repellents offer a range of products with different levels of DEET-based protection depending on your activity and time spent outdoors.

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Prevent Mosquitoes from Breeding:

Empty buckets, cans, and other receptacles to prevent water from collecting
Cover wading pools, but take care to drain water that may collect on pool covers.
Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas, and hot tubs. When they are not in use, keep pools empty and covered
Change water in bird baths every three or four days.
Keep roof gutters clear and draining properly

Additional Resources:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

National Pesticide Telecommunications Network