CDC Alert: Protect against West Nile Virus
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is urging people to take steps to prevent West Nile virus infections.
While outbreaks of West Nile Virus occur each summer in the United States, this year some areas of the country are experiencing earlier and greater activity.
CDC reports thus far in 2012, 42 states have reported West Nile virus infections in people, birds, or mosquitoes. A total of 241 cases of West Nile virus disease, including four deaths, have been reported to CDC. This is the highest number of cases reported through the end of July since 2004. Almost 80 percent of the cases have been reported from three states, Texas, Mississippi, and Oklahoma. Texas has experienced a "doubling" of case numbers.
The CDC suggests the best way to prevent West Nile virus disease is to avoid mosquito bites:
- Use insect repellents when you go outdoors.
- Wear long sleeves and pants during dawn and dusk.
- Install or repair screens on windows and doors. Use air conditioning, if you have it.
- Empty standing water from items outside your home such as flowerpots, buckets, and kiddie pools
Also support but do not solely rely on community control programs to reduce your risk exposure to the virus.