Wellness Blog: Avoid Mosquito Bites and West Nile Virus

 Avoid Mosquito Bites and West Nile Virus

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Michigan’s first West Nile virus activity for 2015 has been reported by health and wildlife officials.  Mosquitoes pass the virus from infected birds to people.  Something to remember: The chance that any one person is going to become ill from a single mosquito bite remains low. The risk of severe illness and death is highest for people over 50 years old, although people of all ages can become ill.

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Fighting mosquito bites reduces your risk of getting West Nile virus, along with other illnesses that mosquitoes can carry. Take the commonsense steps below to reduce your risk:

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Be Aware of Peak Mosquito Hours. Dusk and dawn are peak mosquito biting times for many species of mosquitoes

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Use Insect Repellent.  Consider an all-natural solution. Experiment with non-chemical solutions such as Citronella (natural plant oil). Tea tree oil and vitamin B have reportedly helped some people repel mosquitoes. As with any product, their effectiveness depends on the situation, your own skin chemistry, and the exact type of mosquito you are dealing with.

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Repellents containing 30{20a3c1b19e28c433adf51e79c9b73e3e177e81a9f881bcc62bb0f4e535d6ac19} to 50{20a3c1b19e28c433adf51e79c9b73e3e177e81a9f881bcc62bb0f4e535d6ac19} DEET are recommended for adults and children over 2 months of age and effective for several hours. Repellents with lower amounts of DEET offer shorter-term protection and must be applied more often.   DEET can irritate skin when applied directly in high concentration or for long periods of time. It can even cause severe skin reactions in certain individuals. When using sunscreen, apply it before insect repellent.

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Wear loose, long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors. One of the best ways to keep mosquitoes from biting you is to simply cover your skin. Wear your sleeves and pant legs as long as possible to cover as much skin as possible.

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For more information on mosquitoes and West Nile Virus, visit http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2015/06/12/west-nile-virus-michigan/71120266/

2015-08-05T19:01:12+00:00 Uncategorized|