Mosquitoes and West Nile Virus

The primary cause of the West Nile virus can be traced back to mosquitoes. These insects seem to be the main source of virus transmission to humans. Although the virus may have been carried from place to place by birds, it is the mosquitoes that eventually transfer the virus to humans. A mosquito that bites a bird infected by the West Nile virus becomes a carrier. Once an infected mosquito bites a human, the virus is then transferred into humans.

The best way of avoiding the transmission of the virus is by avoiding mosquitoes from biting you. Although banishing them might prove to be an impossible task, avoiding getting bitten and making your home mosquito-free might be able to do a lot in curbing down the spread of the West Nile virus.

In trying to prevent mosquitoes from biting, you can always depend on a number of effective mosquito repelling lotions that are available in the market. Try to choose a mosquito repellant that contains DEET. A mosquito repellant containing about 24 percent DEET is effective in protecting you from mosquito attacks for an average of five hours. The percentage of DEET in a mosquito repellant has got to do more with its staying power than with its effectiveness in trying to repel mosquitoes.

Mosquito repellants containing high concentrations of DEET may not be considered for use in children. A repellant with about ten percent DEET may be more favorable for use in children but avoid having them apply it on themselves. Adult supervision should always be on hand when using mosquito repellants on children. Such repellants with DEET should not be used on infants or toddlers.

Another way of trying to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes is by trying to limit outdoor activities during dawn to dusk and even early evenings. This is the usual time when the mosquitoes are out and active. Try also to wear light colored clothing in order to become less attractive to mosquitoes. Some studies have shown that mosquitoes are attracted to dark colored. Wearing long sleeved shirts coupled with pants is also suggested if you usually go out in mosquito infested areas. If it won’t be too bothersome, you may also try wearing mosquito netting over your face as protection.

Another good way of preventing the spread of the West Nile virus is by preventing your home from becoming a possible mosquito breeding ground. Mosquitoes usually breed in damp areas. Mosquitoes usually deposit their eggs in stagnant water until they hatch and develop into a new generation of mosquitoes. Any area outside your home with stagnant water can easily become a potential mosquito breeding ground.

It is wise to get rid of these water deposits in order to prevent mosquitoes from breeding in them. Such common areas around the home which may contain stagnant water include bird baths and outdoor pet dishes. Flower pots as well as gutters may also become potential breeding ground for mosquitoes. Even swimming pools, ponds and puddles in the yard can be big enough to host another generation of mosquitoes. The best way to avoid making your home a potential breeding ground is by regularly getting rid of the water fond in these potential mosquito breeding grounds around your home.

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