HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - The Virginia Department of Health says the mosquito surveillance program in Henrico has detected "numerous West Nile virus infected mosquitoes throughout the County."
The recent heavy rains this summer have created more breeding grounds for the mosquitoes. VDH says other surrounding counties do not have a surveillance program, but the "widespread positive results in Henrico" suggest the other counties also have mosquitoes carrying the virus.
The heath department suggests the following steps to protect yourself:
- Eliminate sources of standing water on your property. Clean out roof gutters, downspouts and birdbaths. Properly dispose of tires. Dump and turn over, remove or cover containers such as potted plant trays, garbage cans, buckets wheelbarrows, boats and toys. The mosquitoes that carry WNV can breed in any container of water – particularly if the flooded container also contains leaves, grass, and/or other rotting vegetation.
- Keep windows and doors to the home closed, or install or repair screens to keep mosquitoes out.
- Mosquitoes can bite at any time of day or night. However, it is advisable to stay indoors during peak mosquito biting times such as dusk, nighttime and dawn. The primary carrier of West Nile Virus, the "northern house mosquito," becomes most active beginning at sundown.
- When possible, wear long, loose, light-colored clothing, including long sleeves, pants, shoes and socks.
- Apply an insect repellent that contains either DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535 on clothing and exposed skin. Follow label instructions, particularly for children.
The health department says there has been one probable human case of West Nile so far this year in Virginia.
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