Pediatric Expert Tips: Preventing West Nile Virus
Every summer, news of cases of West Nile virus in the United States put families on high alert. While the virus is dangerous, less than 1 percent of mosquitoes in any area are actually infected with West Nile, and less than 1 percent of people who get the virus develop severe illness.
The Tennessee state health department confirmed the first human case of West Nile Virus for 2014 was found in Shelby County. In this video, Katy Stordahl, M.D., from East Tennessee Children's Hospital, talks about the signs and symptoms of West Nile Virus and what you can do to prevent infection:
To further decrease the chance that someone in your family will contract West Nile virus, take these simple precautions:
- Try to stay indoors at dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
- Repair broken or damaged screens on your doors and windows to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home.
- Remove standing water from gutters, old tires, tarps, potted plants and other outside buckets from around your home. Make sure the water in your pets' dishes is changed regularly.
- Apply insect repellant that has DEET on the label. Choose a repellant that has no more than 30 percent concentration of DEET for your children, as higher concentrations of the chemical can be toxic.
For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention page about West Nile Virus.