Self-management

Prevention

Your best bet for preventing West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne illnesses is to avoid exposure to mosquitoes and eliminate standing water, where mosquitoes breed.

  • Unclog roof gutters.
  • Empty unused swimming pools or empty standing water on pool covers.
  • Change water in birdbaths and pet bowls regularly.
  • Remove old tires or unused containers that might hold water and serve as a breeding place for mosquitoes.
  • Install or repair screens on windows and doors.

To reduce your exposure to mosquitoes:

  • Avoid unnecessary outdoor activity when mosquitoes are most prevalent, such as at dawn, dusk and early evening.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors.
  • Apply mosquito repellent containing an Environmental Protection Agency-registered insect repellent to your skin and clothing. Choose the concentration based on the hours of protection you need — the higher the percentage (concentration) of the active ingredient, the longer the repellent will work. Follow the directions on the package, paying special attention to recommendations for use on children.
  • When outside, cover your infant's stroller or playpen with mosquito netting.
Dec. 16, 2015
References
  1. West Nile virus. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/westnile/index.html. Accessed Oct. 4, 2015.
  2. Petersen LR. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of West Nile virus infection. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 4, 2015.
  3. Petersen LR. Treatment and prevention of West Nile virus infection. Accessed Oct. 4, 2015.