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Oakland County Health Division Reminds Residents to be "Mosquito Smart"

Public Date: 8/26/2010 12:00 AM
Contact: Kathy Forzley, Manager/Health Officer
Phone Number: 248-858-1410

​Oakland County, Michigan -- Oakland County residents are urged to take precautions and protect themselves from mosquito bites during outdoor events such as picnics, concerts, fairs and sporting activities. The threat of West Nile Virus (WNV) and other mosquito-borne diseases will continue to be a risk until late fall when nighttime temperatures fall below freezing.

"Prevention is the key to reducing mosquito bites and lowering the risk of WNV and other mosquito-borne illnesses," stated Kathy Forzley, Manager/Health Officer of Oakland County Health Division.  "Remember to be Mosquito Smart by following the three R's - Reduce, Repel, Report, when enjoying outdoor activities during the summer and into the fall," continued Forzley.

• Reduce: Check for standing water in your yard every three to four days. Some mosquito eggs can develop into adult mosquitoes in less than ten days.  Empty water from mosquito breeding sites, such as flower pots, pet bowls, clogged rain gutters, swimming pool covers, discarded tires, buckets, barrels, cans, and similar items where mosquitoes can lay eggs.

• Repel: Spray clothing and exposed skin with insect repellent. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends use of insect repellents containing active ingredients registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Two products registered with the EPA that have shown a high degree of effectiveness are DEET and Picaridin. Always follow manufacturer's directions carefully, especially when using on children.

 

 
  • Minimize activities where mosquitoes are present, such as shaded areas.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants outdoors.
  • Maintain window and door screening to keep mosquitoes out of buildings.

 

• Report: To report a sick or dead bird or mammal, visit the State of Michigan Emerging Disease Issues webpage at: www.michigan.gov/emergingdiseases. Select West Nile Virus, then How to Report a Dead Bird or Mammal.

West Nile Virus (WNV) is a mosquito-borne virus that can cause inflammation and swelling of the brain. Mosquitoes are infected by biting a bird that carries the virus. WNV is then spread to humans through the bite of the infected mosquito. Most people who are infected with the virus have either no symptoms or experience a mild illness such as fever, headache and body aches. However, in some individuals, particularly the elderly, a more serious disease can develop.

For more information about West Nile Virus, visit Oakland County Health Division's website at www.oakgov.com/health