According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),West Nile virus (WNV) infection can cause serious disease; considered a seasonal epidemic in North America that flares up in the summer and continues into the fall spread by the bite of an infected mosquito.
Milder WNV illness will improve on without treatment, and people do not need to seek medical attention for this infection though they may choose to do so. If you develop symptoms of severe WNV illness, such as unusually severe headaches or confusion, seek medical attention immediately. Severe WNV illness usually requires hospitalization.
How can you prevent WNV?
The easiest and best way to avoid WNV is to prevent mosquito bites.
*When outdoors, use repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, some oil of lemon eucalyptus or
paramenthane-diol. Follow the directions on the package.
*Many mosquitoes are most active from dusk to 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.
To learn more:
CDC Frequently Asked Questions
APIC Mosquitoes, West Nile Virus and you APIC
CT Department of Public Health