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For West Nile Virus: Prevention Is The Watchword

As the West Nile Virus continues to affect more and more in USA, physicians have suggested that precaution is the way to contain the epidemic.

West Nile virus activity peaks in August and September, according to the U.S.// Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and floodwaters and rain from Hurricane Katrina has heightened concern in many states. The CDC last year reported of 2,749 human cases of WNV, with 900 the serious “neuroinvasive disease” and 88 deaths.

Though WNV has declined since 2003, it is not going away. Prof. Jonathon Day, Ph.D., a medical entomologist with the University of Florida, says regional outbreaks of West Nile will regularly occur.

Other mosquito-borne diseases threaten public health, such as Eastern equine encephalitis. Though rare, EEE kills nearly half of those who become infected. The most recent EEE epidemic was in North Carolina, where 26 cases were reported in 2003. This year four cases of EEE have been diagnosed in New Hampshire. Last year four Massachusetts residents contracted EEE and unfortunately two died.

Three steps experts frequently recommend for preventing both mosquito and tick bites are avoiding spots where mosquitoes and ticks are plentiful, wearing protective clothing and applying insect repellents, particularly those containing DEET.

Based on that study and other research, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, along with the American Academy of Pediatrics, have recommended DEET-based repellents to protect against mosquitoes and ticks.

Source: Newswise
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