Mosquitoes in and around the Woodbridge and Prince William county areas have tested positive for West Nile virus. This is an ongoing issue in recent years, and although West Nile Virus is one of many mosquito born diseases, it it by far one of the most serious. Signs of a West Nile virus outbreak can usually be seen in the birds first, but this is a disease that is transferable to people.
Complications from West Nile Virus
Although most people do not develop serious symptoms from West Nile virus, it can turn serious for some people. West Nile virus can even be fatal and there is no treatment specifically for the disease. If you experience signs of a high fever, bad headache or neck pain, you should seek medical attention immediately. Milder cases may include running a fever, a mild headache and muscle and joint aches.
Other Complications from Mosquito Bites
West Nile virus is not the only complication that can arise from mosquito bites. Mosquitoes can carry many serious illnesses including Eastern Equine encephalitis, La Crosse encephalitis and St Louis encephalitis in Virginia. There are other illnesses that are less common in Virginia, but that you may pick up when you are traveling including the Zika virus and malaria. If have traveled outside of the country be sure that you mention this to your doctor if you experience a fever or other symptoms related to mosquito borne illnesses.
Protecting Yourself from Mosquito Bites
There are steps that you can take to prevent yourself from being bitten by mosquitoes. It is important to be proactive since many of the mosquito borne illnesses do not have a treatment, and you must just treat the symptoms until you recover.
- Wear bug repellent—One of the most effective ways to avoid mosquito bites is to wear an effective bug repellent. The best options include DEET, which is the best repellent for stopping insects from biting you. There are also organic options available, but they will not be as effective in stopping bites.
- Dress appropriately—Mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors, so choose lighter colored clothes. If you can wear long sleeves and pants you can reduce the chance of being bitten as well.
- Stay in at dawn and dusk—Mosquito activity increases during the time that the sun is rising or setting. If you are prone to mosquito bites, you may want to stay inside during this time, or at least make sure you apply repellent.
- Avoid mosquito prone areas—Try to avoid spending a lot of time in areas that mosquitoes tend to gather. This is usually around swampy areas or near lakes. If you are traveling outside of the country, research the mosquito risks so that you can be prepared.
Lower Mosquito Populations Around Your Home
In addition to protecting yourself when you go out, you can reduce the number of mosquitoes around your yard. One of the ways to do this is deal with any drainage issues on your property, as well as making sure that there is no standing water on your property. You can also hire a professional to apply a barrier spray that will keep mosquitoes out of your yard and protect you from being bitten.