There is no human vaccine to prevent West Nile virus and no specific treatment for the virus. Treatment of severe illnesses includes hospitalization, use of intravenous fluids, respiratory support, prevention of secondary infections, and good nursing care. If you have symptoms of West Nile virus such as fever, rashes, or body aches you should contact your doctor right away.
The best defense against West Nile Virus is to avoid mosquito bites. You can reduce contact with mosquitoes by taking the following actions:
- Remove common backyard mosquito breeding sources, such as standing water in neglected pools, birdbaths, and flower pots
- Wear clothing that covers the skin, such as long pants and long-sleeved shirts, when outdoors
- Apply repellent containing DEET, Picaridin, IR3535 or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus to clothing and exposed skin
- Try to stay indoors during dawn and dusk
- Apply screens to doors and windows and keep them well maintained to prevent mosquitoes from entering the home
- Prevent mosquito breeding sources in your backyard and neighborhood by eliminating standing water
- Stock ornamental ponds and other standing water sources with mosquito fish
The best way to reduce the risk of infection is to avoid mosquito bites. Apply insect repellent that contains either DEET, Picaridin, IR3535 or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus when you are outdoors. Whenever you use an insecticide or insect repellent, be sure to read and follow the directions carefully. Avoid applying repellent to children less than 2 years old. Use care in applying repellent on children; repellent on their hands may get into their mouth and eyes, causing irritation.
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