West Nile virus is an infection transmitted by mosquitoes. If you become infected with West Nile virus, you may not experience any signs or symptoms or you may experience only minor ones, such as fever and mild headache. However, some people who become infected with West Nile virus develop a life-threatening illness that includes inflammation of the brain. Mild signs and symptoms of a West Nile virus infection generally go away on their own. But severe signs and symptoms — such as a severe headache, disorientation or sudden weakness — require immediate attention.
. Protect yourself from mosquitoes by using mosquito repellent and wearing clothing that covers your skin to reduce your risk.
Most people infected with the West Nile virus have no signs or symptoms.
About 20 percent of people develop a mild infection called West Nile fever. Common signs and symptoms of West Nile fever include:
- Body aches
- Skin rash (occasionally)
- Swollen lymph glands (occasionally)
- Eye pain (occasionally)
Your best bet for preventing West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne illnesses is to avoid exposure to mosquitoes and eliminate mosquito-breeding sites. To help control West Nile virus:
- Eliminate standing water in your yard. Mosquitoes breed in pools of standing water.
- Unclog roof gutters.
- Empty unused swimming pools.
- Change water in birdbaths at least weekly.
- Remove old tires or any unused containers that might hold water and serve as a breeding place for mosquitoes.
To reduce your own exposure to mosquitoes:
Avoid unnecessary outdoor activity when mosquitoes are most prevalent, such as at dawn, dusk and early evening.
Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when you go into mosquito-infested areas.
Apply mosquito repellent with DEET to your skin and clothing. Choose the concentration based on the hours of protection you need — the higher the percentage (concentration) of the active ingredient, the longer the repellent will work. Avoid using DEET on the hands of young children, in case they put their hands in their mouths or on infants under 2 months of age. When outside, cover your infant's stroller or playpen with mosquito netting.
There are several products that will protect you from Mosquitos.
Sawyer makes a complete line of gear and skin sprays that will protect you,
These contain both permethrin in the gear spray and DEET for skin. The 2 used together provide excellent protection for all bugs.