West Nile threat persists, but numbers are down - The Explorer: Health

West Nile threat persists, but numbers are down

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Posted: Wednesday, August 17, 2011 3:00 am

As of July, the drop in confirmed incidents of the West Nile virus is notable.

“At the end of the first half of 2010, we had 28 positives,” says Tami Schuler, Pinal County environmental health specialist. “In that same period this year we’ve only seen four.”

That is a 90-percent drop from 2010. Schuler said the extremely dry conditions could play a factor in the low positive count.

The type of mosquito most likely to carry West Nile virus is one that favors breeding in “permanent water.” They are usually found around ponds, green swimming pools and other areas that hold water for a long period of time.

The best bet to protect yourself from contracting West Nile is to wear long-sleeved shirts and pants while outside. Limit outdoor activities from dusk to dawn while the permanent water mosquitoes are most active. 

When you do go outside, properly apply a mosquito repellant containing 23 to 30 percent DEET or any percentage of Picaridin. Oil of lemon eucalyptus, PMD and IR 3535 are effective as well.

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