Mosquito Bite Prevention Key to Avoiding Illness
VALDOSTA – Two mosquito pools in Lowndes County have tested positive for EEE and the Georgia Department of Public Health’s South Health District wants to remind all South Georgians that prevention is the best tool for avoiding mosquito-borne illnesses.
The presence of mosquito-borne illnesses within an area is often identified through testing of mosquito pools. They can also be identified through animal testing, generally conducted by a veterinarian, after an animal presents with symptoms of the illness.
Most mosquito-borne illnesses are transmitted to humans and animals through the bite of an infected mosquito.
Tips to prevent mosquito bites are:
- Use insect repellent containing DEET, picardin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus on exposed skin and/or clothing.
- Wear long sleeves and pants when weather permits.
- Have secure, intact screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.
- Eliminate mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from flowerpots, buckets, barrels, wading pools and other containers. Drill holes in tire swings so water drains out.
- Be sure to use repellent and wear protective clothing from dusk to dawn or consider indoor activities during these times due to peak mosquito biting hours.
“While it is not uncommon for mosquito-borne illnesses to be identified within our communities this time of year, it is important that we not become complacent to the risks,” said Kenneth Lowery, district epidemiologist. “Avoiding going outside during peak mosquito times and making sure you are taking precautions when you are outside are the best defenses against mosquito-borne illnesses.”
Although there is no vaccine for humans to prevent EEE and West Nile Virus, there are vaccines available for horses. Consult with your veterinarian to have your horse(s) vaccinated as early as possible.
For more information on mosquito borne illnesses visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website at www.cdc.gov.