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Can West Nile virus be prevented?

Dr. Elif E. Oker, MD
Medical Toxicology

The best way to reduce your risk of getting West Nile virus is to reduce your risk of getting a mosquito bite.

Step you can take to prevent mosquito bites include:

  • Use insect repellent when out and about. The CDC recommends using an EPA approved product on clothing before venturing outdoors. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on application and safety closely.
  • Wear long sleeve tops, long pants and socks while outdoors.
  • Limit time outside when mosquitos at dusk and dawn...mosquitoes are especially out and about at these times.
  • Guard your home by making sure screens on doors and windows are intact. 
  • Drain free standing water in your yard, porch or deck. Be sure to check flower pots, drains and pet bowls. Cover up any wells or containers used for storing water. Mosquitoes love to breed in these places.
  • Report dead birds found on your property or in your neighborhood promptly and be sure they are removed by animal control authorities. Avoid handling them yourself and be sure children and animals are kept at a distance until the dead animal is removed.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.