CommunityHealth Fix


Protect Yourself from Insect-Borne Diseases this Summer

Posted at 5:14 PM, Jun 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-29 19:14:13-04

During the warm summer months, it’s common to spend time outdoors, which also means your risk of coming in contact with insects increases. Although the majority of insect bites are harmless, there are cases of viruses and bacteria transmitted by insects, so it is important to know the symptoms and take necessary precautions.

West Nile Virus

West Nile Virus is one of the most common infections spread by mosquitoes. Unfortunately, there are no specific antiviral treatments for West Nile Virus available, so prevention is key. In severe cases, patients can receive supportive treatment, including IV fluids, pain medication, and nursing care, in the hospital.

Symptoms of West Nile Virus

  • Headache
  • Body aches
  • Joint pain
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Rash

Most people who become infected with West Nile virus do not develop symptoms.

Prevention of insect-borne diseases

  • Protect yourself and your family when mosquitoes and other insects are most active—from dusk to dawn.
  • Use mosquito repellent that contain DEET when outdoors. Remember to follow the direction on the label carefully. Avoid using DEET on hands and feet.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and closed shoes while outside during dusk to dawn or while in the woods.
  • Reduce mosquitoes around your home and yard. Get rid of standing water in your yard.

DEET is the most effective insect repellent available. Products containing DEET are safe; however, always follow the directions on the label.