West Nile Virus…

Mosquitoes and birds have carried West Nile virus across the United States since 1999, avoiding only northern Idaho and most of Washington state as of August 2006. This summer, more than 250 people in southern Idaho developed West Nile symptoms: fever, headache, body aches, skin rash and swollen lymph nodes.

Symptoms usually last three to six days and there’s no specific treatment. About 1 percent of West Nile cases develops into West Nile meningitis and/or encephalitis and may require hospital care. Eighty percent of people infected with the virus develop no symptoms.

        While odds of contracting the virus are small, common sense preventive measures are wise.

    * Stay indoors at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most prevalent.
    * Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants outdoors.
    * Spray clothing with repellants containing DEET, Picaridin or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus.
    * Apply insect repellant sparingly to exposed skin
    * Install or repair window and door screens.
    * Eliminate standing water in wading pools, birdbaths, old tires and elsewhere.


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