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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Health District Issues West Nile Virus Avoidance Tips

Following confirmation of mosquitoes with West Nile Virus in Westport, the Westport Weston Health District today issued a list of precautions residents can take to limit their exposure to mosquitoes, particularly in the hours around dusk and dawn.

The state Department of Public Health announced Tuesday that mosquitoes with the virus were found at Sherwood Island State Park on Aug. 20. (See WestportNow Aug. 28, 2007)

The district said West Nile Virus can cause a range of symptoms, from very mild to severe.

The elderly and those with compromised immune systems are most at risk. Residents are urged to avoid outdoor activities between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active, the district said in a news release.

Insect repellant can be used when outdoors in mosquito infested areas.

The district issued these suggestions:

• Limit outdoor activities from dusk to dawn.

• Wear clothing that minimizes bare skin.

• Use mosquito repellents on clothing.

• Follow the directions on labels for insecticides or repellents.

• Cover arms and legs of children playing near standing water.

• Cover playpens or carriages with mosquito netting.

•    After any significant rainfall, remember to remove any standing water from your property.

• Remove objects that can hold standing water.

• Fill in holes, ditches, or tree trunks with sand or cement.

• Clean house gutters on a regular basis.

• Empty wadding pools and bird baths every four to seven days.

• Chlorinate swimming pools regularly.

• Eliminate collected water on boat and pool covers.

• Avoid over-watering of lawns.

• Fix holes in screens and attach properly to windows.

Available at the WWHD are free starter packs of larvicide briquettes for Westport and Weston and mosquito control information.

The bacterial larvicide is called Bti, which is used for mosquito larval control in a broad range of fresh and salt marsh habitats. It uses a naturally-occurring bacteria, and provides thirty days of protection.  Starter packs can be picked up at the WWHD, 180 Bayberry Lane in Westport, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

For more information visit the Health District’s Web site at http://www.wwhd.org

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Posted 08/29/07 at 01:48 PM  Permalink



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