Public Health Advisories

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June 29, 2015 2:12 PM

Preventing Mosquito Bites & West Nile Infection

Preventing Mosquito Bites & West Nile Infection

West Nile Virus is transmitted by mosquito bites to humans and can cause anything from mild flu-like illness to serious illness including meningitis or paralysis. Avoiding getting bitten by mosquitoes will prevent exposure to this disease.

Avoid mosquito bites by practicing the 4 D’s

• D-DAWN & DUSK: Don’t be out at these peak mosquito activity times.
• D-DRESS: Dress in long sleeves & pants during dawn & dusk or where there is mosquito activity (can use mosquito netting or thin fabric over baby stroller).
• D-DRAIN: Drain standing water (drill drainage hole in tire swings, change wading pool water weekly, empty plant saucers).
• D-DEET and Repellants: DEET is the most effective repellent available. It is very important to follow the specific DEET product directions. See below to determine amount of repellant time for specific products.

DEET Concentration refers to how long the protect lasts and does not mean more effective protection:
o 23.8% DEET lasts 5 hours
o 20% DEET lasts 4 hours
o 6.65% DEET lasts 2 hours
o 4.75% DEET lasts 90 minutes

Use the minimum concentration needed for amount of time to be outside. DEET is considered safe when used as directed. Cases of serious reactions have been related to not following directions such as swallowing DEET, using over broken skin or using for multiple days without washing skin in between uses.

How to Apply DEET: Adults should apply DEET products to children by putting it on adults’ hands & then rub onto child. Be sure no DEET is on child’s hands that could go in child’s mouth or rub eyes. Authorities such as CDC and American Pediatric Association differ on their recommendations for the minimum age for DEET application. The maximum DEET concentration for children should not exceed 30%. Application to outer clothing can be effective. Do not apply under clothing. Do not apply to broken skin such as cuts or rashes. Do not spray face but apply to hands and rub face avoiding eyes and mouth.

For More Information:

• American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
Phone: 800-433-9016; Web: www.aap.org/en-us/Pages/Default.aspx
• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Phone: 800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636); Web: www.cdc.gov/westnile/index.html
• Colorado West Nile Virus Hotline
Phone: 877-462-2911 (7am until 11 pm); Web: www.fightthebitecolorado.com
• Gunnison County Public Health
Phone: 970-641-0209; Web: www.gunnisoncounty.org/152/Public-Health
• National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC)
Phone: 800-858-7378; Web: www.epa.gov/pesticides/factsheets/npic.htm
• US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Web: www.epa.gov/

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