Take Precautionary Measures to Reduce the Risk for West Nile Virus
LARGO, MD–Prince George’s County Health Department wants to remind citizens and residents about the importance of protecting themselves against mosquitoes and the potential exposure to West Nile Virus. Due to the recent heavy rains and resulting standing water, the risk of West Nile Virus is particularly high. A resident living in New Carrolton is Prince George ’s County’s first confirmed case of West Nile Virus in a human.
West Nile Virus is transmitted by mosquitoes and affects the nervous system. It is spread to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. Some people infected with the West Nile Virus may develop fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting, swollen lymph glands, and or a rash. Serious short-term and potentially permanent central nervous system illness (i.e., coma, convulsions, paralysis) may occur in a few people infected with West Nile Virus. The virus cannot be transmitted from one person to another or from birds to people.
“We urge our residents and citizens to take precautionary measures to reduce their exposure to mosquito bites,” said Pamela Creekmur, Acting Health Officer. “West Nile Virus can cause very serious diseases, so take the extra minutes to use insect repellent and wear protective clothing to stay healthy.”
Protect Yourself and Your Family
Avoid Mosquito Bites
Although the very young, the elderly and those with depressed immune systems have the highest risk of becoming seriously ill from West Nile Virus, everyone should take steps to avoid mosquito bites.
Eliminate Mosquito Breeding Sites
Reduce breeding mosquitoes in your yard and in your neighborhood by eliminating standing water where mosquitoes lay their eggs.
• Remove discarded automobile tires and put drainage holes in playground
• Remove or turn over buckets and other containers that can collect rain
• Turn over children’s wading pools, wheelbarrows, canoes and garbage can
• Clean roof gutters and downspout screens regularly;
• Flush bird baths and potted plant drainage trays twice weekly;
• Fix dripping outdoor water faucets, and eliminate puddles under air
• Clean and chlorinate swimming pools; and
• Adjust tarps over pools, boats, etc. so that rainwater will not collect.
General information on West Nile Virus can be found at the following Web sites:
Prince George ’s County Health Department, http://www.princegeorgescountymd.gov/Government/AgencyIndex/Health/westnile.asp?nivel=foldmenu(4)
Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, www.dhmh.state.md.us