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Mosquitoes pick up the virus from birds that are infected with WNV.
Symptoms of WNV are often so mild, many people who contract WNV never know it and recover fully from it.
Severe WNV infections may include symptoms such as a high fever, headaches, muscle aches, weakness, seizures, paralysis and/or result in death. These infections are rare.
Those at the greatest risk for WNV include people age 50 and older and immuno-compromised individuals.
Mosquito breeding areas may include bird-baths, flower pots, used tires, floodwater areas, clogged storm drains, gutters, marshes, non-chlorinated backyard pools and other areas susceptible to water collection.
When symptoms occur, it is usually within 3 to 15 days after the mosquito bite.
You can help control the mosquito population and prevent WNV by following these simple steps:
Remove old tires, and buckets from your yardChange the water in birdbaths and pet dishes every 3 daysAvoid over-watering flower pots and gardensClean gutters regularlyKeep pools chlorinated and cover them when possibleRepair holes that cause puddles in driveways and yardsApply 30 % DEET repellent when outdoors – Use no more than 10% DEET on childrenWear baggy or loose-fitting clothing when outdoorsRepair holes in door and window screensAvoid outdoor activities between dusk and dawnReplace outdoor lights with yellow “bug” lights and avoid using bug zappers--they attract more mosquitoes than they kill