William Walker, MD
Contra Costa Health Services
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Read more about West Nile Virus and ways to prevent it.
With the warmer months comes mosquitoes.
And when I was growing up,
mosquito bites were an accepted
part of the season.
At that time, no one had heard of
West Nile Virus, a potentially serious
illness spread by mosquitoes.
In recent years, this virus has become common
in the United States, making it important to
be vigilant about mosquitoes so
we can avoid becoming infected.
I'm Dr. William Walker, Director of
Contra Costa Health Services, here to
talk to you about West Nile Virus.
The virus is transmitted to people by the
bite of an infected mosquito.
The mosquito becomes infected after
feeding on an infected bird or horse.
Not all mosquitoes transmit the virus.
And there is currently no evidence that it
can be transmitted from person to person.
Although most infected people show no or few
symptoms of West Nile Virus, it can cause
serious illness and occasionally
even death, especially in the elderly,
so it is important to protect against mosquitoes.
Try to limit the amount of time spent
outdoors between the hours of
dusk and dawn during the months of
May through October, when
mosquitoes are particularly active.
And very importantly, protect yourself from
West Nile Virus when you are outside.
Use insect repellent to help prevent mosquito bites.
Make sure that your insect repellent contains
ingredients such as DEET, Picaridin, or
Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus.
Wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants when
outdoors also can help reduce the risk of being bitten.
Another effective way to reduce the risk of
getting West Nile Virus is to eliminate any
standing water around your home.
Standing water is the breeding ground of mosquitoes.
Make sure to dispose of any container that
might collect water on your property,
including flower pots and old tires.
Changing the water in birdbaths every
three to four days, aerating and stocking
ornamental ponds with mosquitofish and
cleaning clogged roof gutters will also
eliminate places for mosquitoes to breed.
Make sure your screens are in good order and
fix any holes in screen doors and windows.
Check to ensure they are securely attached to
keep mosquitoes outside.
Following these guidelines will
help protect against West Nile Virus.
For more information,
visit our website at cchealth.org.
Thanks for listening.