Public Health Emerging Issues – August 24, 2018

WELCOMED RAIN CAN BRING UNWANTED MOSQUITO ACTIVITY AHEAD OF WEST NILE VIRUS TREND

  • Rainy weather has helped to clear smoke and to cool the Grand Valley down quite a bit, this week. It has also created potential breeding grounds for mosquitoes in our area.
    • Mosquitoes that transmit West Nile virus (WNV) lay their eggs on the surface of standing water.
    • More mosquitoes can mean a higher risk of transmission of WNV.
      • WNV is a mosquito-transmitted infection that can cause fever, joint pain, vomiting, headache, rash, body aches, diarrhea or other serious complications.
      • Mesa County Public Health and Grand River Mosquito Control District work together to monitor mosquito populations in Mesa County.
        • The Culex mosquito population, the type of mosquito that transmits WNV, has been on the rise in our area since last month.
        • We’re seeing higher populations when compared to this same time, last year.
  • Although Mesa County does see cases of WNV early in the summer, most cases in the past five years have occurred in September.
  • Take precautions to limit mosquitoes near your home and on your property.
    • Drain standing water around your home at least once a week.
    • Think about old tires, cans, flowerpots, bird baths, kiddie pools and clogged rain gutters – anything that could collect and hold rain water on your property.
    • Drill holes in the bottoms of recycling containers that are kept outdoors.
    • Clean vegetation and debris from the edges of ponds.
    • Clip tall grass or weeds standing near your home or where people use your yard.
  • Always take precautions to prevent mosquito bites, too.
    • Use an Environmental Protection Agency approved insect repellent effective against mosquitoes such as DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus or 2-undecanone.
      • Repellents should not be used on babies younger than two months.
      • Avoid spraying repellent onto a child’s hands, eyes, mouth, cuts or irritated skin.
        • Spray the repellent onto your hands and then put it on your child’s face.
      • Products with oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol should not be used on children younger than three years.
    • Wear long pants and long shirts whenever possible.
    • Don’t schedule outdoor activities during dusk or dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
    • Use screens on windows and doors and repair holes to keep mosquitoes outside.
    • Cover cribs, strollers and baby carriers with mosquito netting if you’re spending time outside.
  • Visit health.mesacounty.us and go to the “Illness & Injury” page to learn more about West Nile virus.

 


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