Texas, and especially Dallas County, is currently experiencing a higher-than-usual occurrence of West Nile virus. While most people show no symptoms and recover without any treatment, some cases of West Nile virus can cause serious illness or death. People over the age of 50 and those with weakened immune systems are at greater risk. There are a few simple steps that all Texans can take to protect themselves and their families from West Nile virus:
Use insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
Dress in long sleeves and long pants when you are outside.
Stay indoors at dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
Drain standing water where mosquitoes breed. Common breeding sites include old tires, flowerpots and clogged rain gutters.
Aerial spraying will be conducted in the Dallas area. Health officials have offered the following guidance:
Minimize exposure: avoid being outside, close windows and consider keeping pets inside while spraying occurs.
If skin or clothes are exposed, wash them with soap and water.
Rinse homegrown fruits and vegetables with water as a general precautionary measure.
Cover small ornamental fish ponds.
Because the chemical breaks down quickly in sunlight and water, no special precautions are suggested for outdoor swimming areas.
Please visit the websites of the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more information on West Nile virus. A useful fact sheet on prevention and detection of the virus can be found here.
United States Senator