Mosquitoes And West Nile Virus

Getting a mosquito bite can be cause for concern because of the potential for exposure to the West Nile virus.

West Nile virus is carried by mosquitoes and can infect humans, horses, and birds. Humans can only get the virus from the bite of an infected mosquito; the disease does not spread from other animals to humans, or from person to person.

Evidence indicates that the chance of human infection and illness resulting from WNV is quite low. Most people who acquire the West Nile virus never develop any symptoms of disease. As with many illnesses, young children and the elderly are most at risk.

There are some steps that can be taken around your home to decrease mosquito breeding as well as personal protective measures that can minimize the risk of being bitten. This information should answer some of your questions regarding the virus and what you can do to protect yourself and your family this summer.

  • Wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts, particularly between dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are active.
  • Avoid shaded, bushy areas where mosquitoes rest.
  • Limit outdoor activity, especially at dusk when Culex tarsalis mosquitoes are most active.
  • Use an insect repellent containing DEET when spending time outdoors. Do NOT use DEET on children 2 or younger.

These information sheets from Clatsop County can be downloaded and printed. The links will open in a new window.

Content used with permission from Malheur Country Health Department.

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