Nashville, TN – Health officials in Davidson, Knox and Shelby Counties have identified batches of mosquitoes testing positive for West Nile virus in 2013, and one human case of WNV has been reported in Tennessee so far this year.
The Department of Health is reminding Tennesseans to take steps to eliminate mosquito habitats and protect themselves from bites from mosquitoes that may transmit the virus.
Follow these steps to help reduce mosquito habitats:
- Reduce or eliminate all standing water in your yard. This may include bird baths, clogged gutters, tires, flowerpots, trash cans, buckets, wading pools and children’s toys.
- Cut back overgrown vegetation
- Aerate ornamental pools or stock them with Gambusia fish
Take these precautions to protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites:
- Limit time outdoors at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active
- When outdoors, wear mosquito repellent approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Look for products containing DEET, Picaridin, IR3535 and Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus.
- Wear shoes, socks, long-sleeved shirts and pants when outdoors during dusk to dawn when mosquitoes are most prevalent. Clothing should be light-colored and made of tightly woven material to keep mosquitoes away from the skin. Tuck pant legs into socks and button collars.
- Keep home windows and doors closed or cover with screens
- Don’t use perfume, cologne, or scented deodorant or soap if going outdoors, as fragrances may attract insects.
More information about prevention of West Nile virus, including an interview with entomologist Abelardo Moncayo, PhD, is available on the TDH website at http://health.state.tn.us/.