Health officials caution about West Nile

Published 8:46 pm Wednesday, September 5, 2012

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the best way to prevent the most common mosquito-borne diseases such as WNV and EEE is to avoid mosquito bites by following these recommendations:

•Use insect repellents when going outdoors.

•Wear long sleeves and pants during dawn and dusk.

•Install or repair screens on windows and doors. Use air conditioning, if available.

•Empty standing water from items outside homes, such as flowerpots, buckets and children’s pools.

Repellents are an important tool to assist people in protecting themselves from mosquito-borne diseases. CDC recommends the use of repellents containing active ingredients which have been registered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for use as repellents applied to skin and clothing. Products containing these active ingredients typically provide reasonably long-lasting protection. These include the following:



•Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus or PMD, the synthesized version of oil of lemon eucalyptus


Insect repellents must state any age restrictions. According to the label, oil of lemon eucalyptus products should not be used on children under 3 years of age. Parents should choose the type and concentration of repellent to be used by taking into account the amount of time a child will be outdoors, exposure to mosquitoes, and the risk of mosquito-transmitted disease in the area.

People should consult their health care provider for advice about using repellent products on children.

“With many people enjoying outdoor activities, it is important that residents take every effort to reduce their exposure to mosquitoes,” Dr. Dee W. Jones, State Public Health Veterinarian, said in a release. “Keep your mosquito repellent with you at all times when you are working or participating in recreational activities outdoors.”

Like humans, horses can sometimes become seriously ill from these infections.

Effective vaccination is available for horses. In 2012, there have been seven cases of EEE in horses, including four cases in horses located in Dallas County, and one case each in Elmore, Mobile and Montgomery counties.