BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --
As the mosquito season starts, it's important to know some basic facts about West Nile Virus, a potentially severe illness that is transmitted by infected mosquitoes.
Most West Nile Virus infections are mild and symptoms can include fever, headache, body aches, skin rashes and swollen lymph nodes. Symptoms usually appear three to 14 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.
Signs of more severe illness may include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, muscle weakness or convulsions. People with these symptoms should seek medical attention immediately.
Spring showers and warming temperatures produce the perfect breeding conditions for mosquitoes that might transmit West Nile Virus.
Officials from the 460th Medical Group emphasize the critical need to eliminate mosquito breeding areas around homes and workplaces; and also use insect repellent to protect from mosquito bites every time people are outdoors -- whether in the backwoods or in the back yard.
The recommended mosquito precautions include the five D's:
- Drain all standing water around the home to eliminate mosquito-breeding sites
- Dress in long-sleeved shirts, long pants, shoes and socks
- Limit outdoor activities at Dusk and Dawn when mosquitoes are most active
- Use mosquito repellents that contain Deet.
Additional information can be found at www.FightTheBiteColorado.com or from the state health department information line at 1-877-462-2911.