Health Tip: Prevent West Nile Virus

Learn to keep mosquitoes from biting

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(HealthDayNews) -- Keeping the bugs away is the best way to prevent West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne diseases.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers these suggestions:

  • Avoid bites -- Apply insect repellent containing DEET (Look for: N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide) to exposed skin when you go outdoors. When possible, wear long-sleeves, long pants and socks when you are outside.
  • Find where water collects -- Limit the number of places around your home for mosquitoes to breed by getting rid of standing water, in which mosquitoes lay their eggs.
  • Help your community control the disease -- Report dead birds to local authorities. More than 130 species of birds are known to carry the virus, though not all infected birds will die. By reporting dead birds to state and local health departments, you can play an important role in monitoring the progression of West Nile.

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