...the CDC and [Dr. Clifford W.] Bassett, say the easiest and best way to avoid the virus is to prevent getting a mosquito bite in the first place.
Apply insect repellant that contains an EPA-registered active ingredient, such as DEET, to skin or clothing before you head out doors. Bassett said many people don't realize the prime times to get bit are dusk and dawn, and people may not worry about their bug bite risk when they are outdoors, or camping or at the beach.
The CDC adds that people should not spray repellants under clothing, over open cuts, wounds or irritated skin, nor near the eyes, mouth or directly on the face. Other repellants containing Picaridin may be used, and for those concerned with chemicals, there is oil of lemon eucalyptus. But Bassett says with natural products the protection likely won't last as long.
"You can prevent 90 to 100 percent of bite reactions by applying the appropriate insecticide," he said. Such tips can be applied to preventing other insect-borne diseases, like Lyme disease or babesiosis.
After returning indoors, wash the skin with soap and water, this is particularly important when repellants are used repeatedly in a day or on consecutive days, the CDC says. Treated clothing should be washed also before it is used again. People who have an allergic reaction to the repellant should see a doctor.
Health officials also recommend draining standing water, where mosquitoes breed.
keyboard shortcuts: V vote up article J next comment K previous comment