To The UHCL Community,
As you may know, Texas is experiencing an increase in West Nile Virus activity this year. While the number of human cases of West Nile Virus in Harris County is not at the level of other parts of Texas, there is a rise of West Nile Virus circulating throughout the county in mosquitoes and birds.
In an effort to ensure that you have appropriate prevention information and to encourage you to protect yourself and your family, the Harris County Public Health and Environmental Services Office of Public Information has provided the below information to guide you.
Protect Yourself from the West Nile Virus with the 4 D’s
- Stay indoors at DUSK and DAWN. This is the time of day that mosquitoes are most active.
- DRESS in long sleeves and pants, loose and light colored clothing when outdoors.
- DEFEND yourself from mosquitoes by using an insect repellent that contains DEET, Picaridin, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus. Follow the label for application instructions.
- DRAIN standing water in your yard and neighborhood. Also make sure tha flower pots, water dishes, bird baths and wading pools are properly drained so they are not breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
Fight the Bite!
Reduce your Risk. Enjoy the outdoors, but remember to protect yourself and your family from mosquito-borne diseases such as West Nile Virus. Your best defense against being bitten is simply to be prepared. Help Fight the Bite!
- When outdoors, use an insect repellent containing the active ingredient DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535 to reduce exposure to mosquito bites. Always apply as directed on the label. Do not allow young children to apply repellent to themselves; have an adult do it for them.
- If possible, wear long-sleeved clothing and long pants when outdoors at dawn and dusk which are peak mosquito biting times.
- Place mosquito netting over infant carriers when you are outdoors with infants.
- Don’t feed the storm drains. Sweep up lawn clippings, leaves and tree limbs from sidewalks and driveways.
- Remove/empty containers that can hold water such as flowerpots, buckets, tires, toys and plastic swimming pools. Birdbaths and pet water bowls should be changed at least twice a week.
- Cover your boat or store in a covered place. Drain any standing water and make sure the bilge pump is working. Turn over canoes, kayaks and small boats to store upside down.
- Keep rain gutters clean and draining and repair any outdoor household leaks.
- When watering the lawn, be aware of any excess water that may accumulate. Fill in low areas around the yard.
- When mosquitoes are noticed in your yard, spray with an outdoor mosquito spray. Be sure to use according to directions on the label.
- To control mosquitoes in your house, use a “flying insect spray”. Be sure to use according to directions on the label.
- Household pets can be exposed to West Nile Virus . Contact your veterinarian for more information.
Remember, the most severe cases of West Nile Virus present themselves in the very young and the very elderly. While taking precautions for yourself and family, take especial care of your children and older relatives. If you would like more information on West Nile Virus, please visit the Harris County Public Health and Environmental Services website at www.hcphes.org and view the 2012 West Nile Virus Response webpage.