Precautions against West Nile virus recommended

Precautions against West Nile virus recommended

"Fight the bite!" was the advice Vice President for Administration Kevin Kirby gave to Rice students, faculty and staff in an email Wednesday about precautions against the West Nile virus.

He noted that catchphrase is being used by Harris County Public Health and Environmental Services, and shared tips from that department for minimizing the risk of being bitten by disease-carrying mosquitoes:

  • Stay indoors at dawn and dusk, which are peak mosquito-biting times. If you have to go outside at these times, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, preferably loose and light-colored.
  • Defend yourself from mosquitoes by using an that contains DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535. Be sure to apply the repellent as directed on the label.

Kirby said such precautions might be particularly beneficial to employees who work outdoors and students who engage in field sports and outdoor recreation.

He noted that a front-page story in the Aug. 22 Houston Chronicle reported that three West Nile virus-related deaths of older adults have occurred in Houston this summer. The story also reported that Harris County would begin an aerial spray of the insecticide naled (Dibrom) Wednesday night to combat the spread of the virus.

Kirby shared additional information from Harris County officials about the virus: Houston's benefits the mosquito population, including the , which is the predominant species in Harris County that carries the West Nile virus. Mosquitoes spread the after they feed on infected birds and then bite people, other birds and animals.

People over 50 years of age have the highest risk of developing a severe illness from the . Most people who are infected show no or only mild symptoms, such as a low-grade fever and headache. When symptoms of infection do occur, they usually appear five to 15 days after the person was bitten. More severe symptoms can include a high fever, stiff neck, muscle weakness, disorientation, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), coma and, in rare cases, death.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

West Nile virus on the rise in US: CDC

Aug 02, 2012

(HealthDay) -- With 241 cases of West Nile virus and four related deaths reported so far this year, the United States is experiencing the biggest spike in the mosquito-borne illness since 2004, health officials ...

Dallas-fort worth brace for West Nile spraying

Aug 14, 2012

(HealthDay) -- The Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area -- the epicenter of the nation's worst outbreak of West Nile virus this year -- could see aerial spraying of insecticides as early as Thursday night ...

Recommended for you

UN says Syria vaccine deaths was an NGO 'mistake'

6 hours ago

The recent deaths of Syrian children after receiving measles vaccinations was the result of a "mistake" by a non-governmental partner who mixed in a muscle relaxant meant for anesthesia, a spokesman for the U.N. secretary-general ...

First US child dies from enterovirus D68

7 hours ago

A child in the northeastern US state of Rhode Island has become the first to die from an ongoing outbreak of a respiratory virus, enterovirus D68, health officials said Wednesday.

US Ebola patient had contact with kids: governor

7 hours ago

A man who was diagnosed with Ebola in virus in Texas came in contact with young children, and experts are monitoring them for any signs of disease, governor Rick Perry said Wednesday.

UN worker dies of suspected Ebola in Liberia

8 hours ago

The United Nations mission in Liberia announced on Wednesday the first suspected victim among its employees of the deadly Ebola epidemic ravaging the impoverished west African nation.

User comments