WEST NILE VIRUS CASES INCREASE; NPMA & CDC URGE CAUTION
Government Officials Warn of Public Health Threat
Mosquito season is in full swing and with it the increased threat of West Nile virus (WNV) infection. In 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 5,387 human cases of West Nile Virus, 243 of which were fatal. This reflects one of the biggest outbreaks of the virus in the United States and the deadliest year on record. This April, a new study published in the journal CMAJ Open found that Lyme disease rates are rising in the Northern U.S., with a significant increase seen in 21 states between 1992 and 2007.
These illnesses can be severe and sometimes fatal, but there are steps people can take to help protect themselves from coming into contact with these pests.
- Wear light-colored clothing – Ticks, especially the Blacklegged deer tick which can carry Lyme disease, are found in wooded areas and like to climb tall grasses to wait for a passing host. When in a wooded environments, wear light-colored long pants, long-sleeve shirts and closed-toe shoes to prevent ticks from biting the skin. Light-colored clothing makes the ticks easier to spot if one decides to hitch a ride.
- Use bug spray – DEET is the active ingredient in many insect repellents and is an effective way to deter ticks and other pests when outside. Bug spray containing at least 20% DEET is recommended.
- Make your property unattractive – Keep your grass cut. Ticks prefer to hide in tall grass and wait for a passing human or animal.
- Check for ticks – After being outdoors, inspect yourself for ticks. They are fond of warm body parts such as the groin and armpit, so be sure to check all areas. Also, don’t forget to check your pets for ticks if they have been outside. Pets can easily pick up ticks, which can then be transferred to other family members once inside the house.
- Eliminate breeding grounds – Mosquitoes only need about ½ inch of water to breed. Eliminating areas of standing water around the home such as flowerpots, birdbaths and baby pools can greatly reduce the number of mosquitoes in the area.
- Be aware of the time of day – Between dawn and dusk is peak activity time for mosquitoes. Minimize outside activity during those times to prevent mosquito bites.
- Watch what you wear – Mosquitoes are attracted to specific characteristics of clothing such as dark colors and floral prints. Avoid wearing sweet-smelling perfumes and colognes, which could also attract mosquitoes to you.
- Protect your house – Screen windows and doors, and repair tears in existing screens to prevent mosquitoes from flying inside.
These tips can help prevent bites, but if you think you or someone you know has contracted an insect-borne disease, immediately consult your physician for diagnosis and treatment.
Consider a mosquito exterminator Indiana
Franklin Pest Solutions has created two options to provide extra protection for you, your family, and friends this season against biting insects, like mosquitoes. Home mosquito control Indiana, is not as expensive as you might think. And it will make enjoying time outdoors possible without the itchy scratchy frustration of mosquito bites.
Choose one of the two home mosquito control options:
- One-time yard applications for graduation parties, barbecues, weddings, etc.
- Routine mosquito control every 3 weeks or so to continually reduce populations
With either option, our service technician will inspect your property to pinpoint areas and conditions that may be attracting mosquitoes, then suggest helpful tips to reduce to help eliminate that draw.
Monitoring Insect-borne Diseases
“The CDC is closely monitoring West Nile virus reports from around the country,” said Roger Nasci, Chief of CDC’s Arboviral Diseases Branch. “Compared to this time last year, the number of reported human cases is much higher. People spending time outdoors, particularly in areas of the country where WNV activity is increasing, should take precautionary measures to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.”
”In addition to protecting oneself, NPMA is asking the public to help by limiting the number of mosquito breeding grounds around their homes. Mosquitoes can breed in as little as half an inch of water, so it’s important to take stock of any items that may collect water after a rainfall such as flowerpots, children’s pools and toys, grill covers, and others,” advised Missy Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for NPMA.
WNV is a mosquito-borne virus transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has fed on an infected bird. “In most cases West Nile virus is a mild infection with symptoms so slight they can go unnoticed, or feel like a summer flu,” said Dr. Jorge Parada, medical spokesperson for the NPMA. “In extreme cases, it can be a potentially life threatening infection with higher fever, head and body aches, worsening weakness, confusion and even coma. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek immediate medical attention.”
Get a mosquito exterminator Indiana!