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Recent West Nile Case in WNY; Tips to Protect Yourself

2:40 PM, Aug 24, 2012   |    comments
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BUFFALO, N.Y. - Federal health officials say this year's West Nile Virus outbreak is one of the largest in U.S. history.

The Erie County Health Department says they have one confirmed case of West Nile.  Scott Zimmerman with the Erie County Health Department says that that person was treated and has since recovered.

2 On Your Side spoke to the son of the man who was treated for West Nile. He tells us his 84-year-old father was released from the hospital to an assisted living facility because he still needs treatment for ongoing symptoms related to the disease.

The man's son is urging people to rid their property of any standing water. Experts say standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

The virus is carried by mosquitoes and. at the national level, there are four times the usual number of cases for this time of year. In an average year, fewer than 300 cases are reported by mid-August.

Here are some tips from the Erie County Health Department to protect yourself:

Use Insect Repellent
Apply on exposed skin when you go outdoors. Use an EPA-registered insect repellent such as those with DEET, picardin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Always read and follow all directions and precautions on the product label.

Wear Long-sleeves and Pants
When possible, wear long-sleeves, long pants, and socks when outdoors. Mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing, so spraying clothes with repellent containing permethrin or DEET will give extra protection. Do not apply repellents containing permethrin directly to skin. Do not spray repellent containing DEET on the skin under your clothing.

Be Aware of Peak Mosquito Hours
The hours from dusk to dawn are peak biting times for many species of mosquitoes. Take extra care to use repellent and protective clothing during evening and early morning - or consider avoiding outdoor activities during these times.

Install or Repair Screens
Keep mosquitoes from entering your home with secure, intact screens on windows and doors.

Drain Standing Water
Eliminate mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from flower pots, buckets, barrels, and other containers near your home. Drill holes in tire swings so water drains out. Keep children's wading pools empty and on their sides when not in use.

For more information please contact the Erie County Department of Health Environmental Health Division at (716) 961-6800.

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