Fairfax County is launching a "Fight the Bite" campaign to help residents keep from getting bitten and from contracting the West Nile Virus.
Here are some tips from the county, with ways you can take action now:
Mosquito-proof your yard
A single mosquito bite can give you West Nile virus. Why take a chance?
- Eliminate standing water: Mosquitoes can breed in a container as small as a bottle-cap. For more tips, watch the slideshow on right.
- Treat standing water: Larvicides can help to control mosquito breeding sites.
- Spray your yard: Used carefully, an insecticide can help eliminate mosquitoes.
Keep the bugs off of you
Even if you get rid of most of their breeding ground, mosquitoes can still find you. Here are some tips to Fight the Bite:
- Defend yourself: Wear insect repellent.
- Avoid peak times: Stay indoors at dawn and early evening.
- Dress right: Wear long, loose and light-colored clothing when outdoors.
- Keep them outside: Install, repair or replace screens on both windows and doors.
West Nile Virus Symptoms
Know the symptoms of West Nile virus (WNV), which can be transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito.
- Serious Symptoms in a Few People. About one in 150 people infected with WNV will develop severe illness. The severe symptoms can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. These symptoms may last several weeks, and neurological effects may be permanent.
- Milder Symptoms in Some People. Up to 20 percent of the people who become infected have symptoms such as fever, headache, and body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back. Symptoms can last for as short as a few days, though even healthy people have become sick for several weeks.
- No Symptoms in Most People. Approximately 80 percent of people (about 4 out of 5) who are infected with WNV will not show any symptoms at all.