- Tips to Protect
Yourself from Mosquito-borne Illness
(ARA) - Warm temperatures allow
families to enjoy fun outdoor activities, but whether camping
in a national park or barbecuing on the back deck, its
important that warm weather plans include protection against
insects like mosquitoes. Not only can these pesky bugs leave
arms and legs itchy and red, they can spread diseases such as
West Nile Virus, which infected more than 4,000 Americans in
While the chance of becoming
seriously ill from a mosquito-borne illness is low, its
a risk that still exists and a threat that can be more significant
to children and the elderly, said Paul Beahm, vice president
of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. However, one can prevent infection
by taking a few precautionary steps like using a good insect
Beahm offers the following tips
to protect against mosquito-borne illnesses:
*After a rainstorm, eliminate
the standing water that has collected in places such as pool
covers, old tires, buckets, flowerpots, toys, and birdbaths.
*Clean and chlorinate swimming
pools and outdoor hot tubs and saunas. If they are not in use,
empty them and keep them covered.
*Use an insect repellent containing
deet. Spray formulas, such as Ultrathon Repellent or Deep Woods
Off, allow easy application to hard-to-reach areas such as the
back of legs.
*Replace outdoor lights with yellow
*Light insect-fighting candles,
such as those containing citronella, during outdoor gatherings.
*Wear long-sleeved shirts, long
pants, socks, and hats to minimize the areas of exposed skin.
Spritz clothing with a bug spray like Cutter Backwoods, another
repellant containing deet.
*Inspect screen doors and windows
for holes so mosquitoes cant get inside.
*Avoid outdoor activity at dawn
and dusk, or anytime in the evening when mosquito activity is
*Watch for sick and dying birds
-- the main reservoir for West Nile Virus -- and report them
to the local health department.
*Stay inside at night if there
is a warning of mosquito-borne disease in effect.
You should also be aware of the
symptoms of West Nile Virus. According to the Mayo Clinic, these
include fever, headache, muscle ache, backache, skin rash, and
swollen lymph glands. Seek medical advice if these signs or symptoms
Many products that help prevent
mosquito-borne illnesses are reasonably priced and can be found
at most discount retailers, like Wal-Mart stores.