Precautions against West Nile virus recommended

August 24, 2012
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 , stiff neck, muscle weakness, disorientation, encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), coma and, in rare cases, death.

Explore further: West Nile Virus detected on New York's Staten Island

Related Stories

West Nile virus on the rise in US: CDC

August 2, 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 report.

Dallas-fort worth brace for West Nile spraying

August 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 to help control the ...

Recommended for you

First drug-resistant malaria parasite detected in Africa

February 22, 2017

For the first time in Africa, researchers said Wednesday they have detected a malaria parasite that is partially resistant to the top anti-malaria drug, artemisinin, raising concern about efforts to fight a disease that ...

Transplanting good bacteria to kill Staph

February 22, 2017

Healthy human skin is alive with bacteria. In fact, there are more microorganisms living in and on the human body than there are human cells. Most can live on the human skin without harming the host, but in some people bacteria ...

In rare disorder, novel agent stops swelling before it starts

February 22, 2017

An early-stage clinical trial has found that, compared to a placebo, a novel medication significantly reduces potentially life-threatening episodes of swelling of the airway as well as the hands, feet, and abdomen of patients ...

Resveratrol may be an effective intervention for lung aging

February 22, 2017

In a study led by Barbara Driscoll, PhD, of The Saban Research Institute of Children's Hospital Los Angeles, researchers demonstrate, for the first time that inhaled resveratrol treatments slow aging-related degenerative ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

barakn
not rated yet Aug 24, 2012
Any effort made to stave off infection this year will be rewarded the need to make the same efforts next year, and the year after that. And once past the age of 50, you will have no immunity, and all it might take to acquire a fatal illness is a moment of forgetfulness. If you are under 50 and not immunocompromised, consider instead not worrying about getting West Nile. If you are lucky enough to get it, you will likely remain immune for the rest of your life. If not, you won't have spent time cowering in fear.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.