Season’s first West Nile virus case confirmed in Wyoming
Mosquitoes become infected with West Nile virus by feeding on birds infected with the virus. Then the mosquitoes bite animals, people and other birds, spreading the virus.
Health professionals have sought to make it easier for people to remember important cues about West Nile virus by developing the “5 D's” of virus prevention.
The first two are dawn and dusk, for mosquitoes feed more frequently at these times of the day. It is wise to avoid going outdoors at these times.
The third is dress. Health officials recommend wearing socks, shoes, long-sleeved shirts and long pants when spending time outdoors. They specifically recommend tightly woven materials and light colors.
The fourth is drain; mosquitoes use shallow, stagnant water to breed. It is easy to decrease standing water by either removing or draining it.
The fifth and final D is for DEET. Health professionals recommend using an insect repellent with DEET if you have to go outdoors. Other insect repellents, like lemon eucalyptus oil or Picardin, also prevent mosquitoes from feeding.
“We want to remind residents to take steps to protect themselves and their families from mosquito bites,” Katie Bryan, epidemiologist with the WDH, said.