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Alexandria Health Department Issues Mosquito-borne Diseases Warning | Environment

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Alexandria Health Department Issues Mosquito-borne Diseases Warning

The West Nile virus is active in the area and continues to be a threat, especially after last week’s storms. Alexandria Health Department has issued a warning about the risk of mosquito-borne diseases. The warning comes at a time when there is an increased amount of standing water around neighborhoods, damaged homes in the area allow mosquitoes indoors, and more local residents are spending time outside cleaning up debris and doing storm repairs.

While many people who get bitten by a mosquito with West Nile do not get sick, there is still a risk of getting meningitis or encephalitis. The Alexandria Health Department also wanted to remind residents that if you are over the age of 50, you may have an increased risk of complications from the West Nike virus and Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE).

A birth of a bumper crop of mosquitoes is expected very soon after last week’s storm and the health department has several recommendations to avoid any mosquito-borne diseases.  Here are the health department’s recommendations:

  • Wear long, loose and light-colored clothing.
  • Use insect repellent products with picaridin or no more than 50 percent DEET for adults and no more than 30 percent DEET for kids.
  • Get rid of standing water in potted plant trays, buckets, toys, anything that collects water.
  • Eliminate standing water on tarps or flat roofs.
  • Clean out birdbaths and wading pools once a week.
  • Clean roof gutters and downspout screens regularly.
  • Repair screens on doors and windows.
  • Clear clogged drains.