Fight the Bite

Protect yourself from mosquito borne diseases: West Nile Virus and EEE

Mosquito bites can spread diseases like West Nile virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). Mosquito borne disease is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito.

Who is most at risk? Adults over 50 years old and children younger than 15 are the most at risk for becoming severely ill from infection.

What are the symptoms? Most people who are infected with WNV do not get sick. Mild cases can cause a slight fever and headache and usually get better on their own. Serious infections can cause a high fever with head and body aches. Some people bitten by a mosquito infected with EEE will not develop symptoms. Symptoms of severe illness from WNV or EEE include severe headache, high fever, stiff neck, mental confusion, muscle weakness, tremors (shaking), coma, or paralysis. See your health care provider if you develop any of these symptoms.

Mosquito proof your home! Install or repair screens on windows and doors. Get rid of water that collects around your home and yard. At least once or twice a week, empty water from flower pots, pet food and eater dishes, birdbaths, swimming pool covers, buckets, barrels and cans. Check for clogged rain gutters and clean them out. Remove discarded tires, and other items that could collect water.

Avoid mosquito bites! Mosquitoes are most active during the summer and early fall between dusk and dawn. Take extra care to use repellent and wear protective clothing during the evening and early morning hours. Wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts, shoe, and socks. Avoid shaded, bushy areas where mosquitoes are most active.

Mosquito Repellent Tips

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends using insect repellent containing DEET, Picaridin, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus or IR3535 to prevent mosquito bites. DEET and Picaridin provide longer-lasting protection than any other repellents.
  • Use repellent sparingly to cover exposed skin only and do not use repellents under your clothing.
  • Do not put the repellent directly onto children. Put it on your hands and apply it to your child.
  • Do not put insect repellent directly on your face, especially near the eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Wash treated skin and clothing after returning indoors with soap and water.
  • Always follow the manufacturer recommendations.

For more information on Lyme disease

call the Onondaga County Health Department

(315) 435-1649