ACHD has tips for avoiding the West Nile virus
August 7, 2007
The Allegheny County Health Department is urging residents to protect themselves from the West Nile virus this summer by ridding their property of mosquito breeding sites and taking precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.
“The best ways to reduce the risk of West Nile infection are eliminating standing water where mosquitoes breed and using insect repellent during peak mosquito-biting times in the early morning and early evening,” said County Health Director Dr. Bruce W. Dixon.
Mosquitoes can develop in hot, humid weather within a matter of just a few days, in small amounts of standing water, as little as the amount of water an upside-down bottle cap would hold.
Health officials offer these tips to fend off mosquitoes and the West Nile virus:
• Get rid of items that hold any amount of water – like tires, buckets, junk piles, and cans.
• Clean out roof gutters and storm drains.
• Change the water in birdbaths once or twice a week.
• Empty and turn over children's wading pools when not in use.
• Fill in depressions on your lawn to prevent accumulation of water.
• Repair leaky outdoor faucets that can create a pool of stagnant water.
• Make sure windows and doors have screens and they are in good repair.
• Wear socks, long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors.
• Apply insect repellent to exposed skin. Read the label and follow instructions.
The public is also urged to report potential mosquito breeding sites on other properties in their neighborhoods by calling the Allegheny County Health Department at 412-687-ACHD.
For more information, call the Health Department or visit http://www.achd.net.