Due to standing water after a hurricane strikes, officials emphasize the importance of residents and visitors protecting themselves against mosquito-borne diseases.
The public must remain diligent in their personal mosquito protection efforts. Prevention measures include:
- Dusk and Dawn - Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are seeking blood. For many species, this is during the dusk and dawn hours.
- Dress - Wear clothing that covers all skin.
- DEET - When the potential exists for exposure to mosquitoes, repellents containing DEET are recommended. Products with concentrations up to 30 percent DEET are generally recommended. It is not recommended to use DEET on children younger than 2 months old. Infants should be kept indoors or mosquito netting should be used over carriers when mosquitoes are present. If additional protection is necessary, apply a thin layer repellent directly to your clothing. Always read the manufacturer's directions carefully before putting on a repellent. Picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus are other repellent options.
- Drainage - Check the home to rid it of standing water, which is where mosquitoes can lay their eggs.
- Screens - Make sure that windows remain closed or are sealed completely by screens at night.
Elimination of breeding sites is one of the keys to prevention. Follow these tips to help eliminate mosquito breeding sites:
- Clean out eaves, troughs and gutters.
- Remove old tires or drill holes in those used in playgrounds to drain.
- Turn over or remove empty plastic pots.
- Pick up all beverage containers and cups.
- Check tarps on boats or other equipment that may collect water.
- Pump out bilges on boats.
- Replace water in birdbaths and pet or other animal feeding dishes at least once a week.
- Change water in plant trays, including hanging plants, at least once a week.
- Remove vegetation or obstructions in drainage ditches that prevent the flow of water.
Symptoms of West Nile virus may include headache, fever, fatigue, dizziness, weakness and confusion. Physicians should contact the Lake County Health Department if they suspect an individual may have a mosquito-borne illness. State Department of Health laboratories provide testing services for physicians treating patients with clinical signs of mosquito-borne disease.