According to the CDC, as of August 11, 2015, a total of 42 states have reported West Nile virus infections in people, birds, or mosquitoes in 2015. The West Nile virus is most commonly transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. While rare, it can be very expensive to treat with symptoms that can linger for months or years. My former track coach had a very scary bout with West Nile - and if you get it, it's definitely not a minor issue!
There are no medications to treat or vaccines to prevent West Nile infection, but there are easy ways to avoid mosquito bites:
1. Wear protective clothing, including long sleeves and pants to prevent bites and take extra care during peak mosquito biting hours from dusk to dawn.2. Use insect repellents when you go outdoors, especially in tropical or wooded areas near water.
3. Mosquito-proof your home by installing or repairing screens and regularly emptying standing water from flowerpots, gutters, birdbaths and pet dishes so mosquitoes don't breed in them.
While mosquito activity is down now, particularly in northern states, it's not a bad idea to plan ahead for the next mosquito season. When it comes to repellent, some people are concerned about DEET. I recently had a chance to try out a non-toxic, safe alternative to DEET. BullFrog Mosquito Coast insect repellent and sunscreen SPF 30 protects from both burn and bite. BullFrog Mosquito Coast uses Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommended IR3535®. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency classifies IR3535 as a biopesticide as there are no harmful residues detected after use. While I didn't get much chance to use it due to the fact that there aren't many bugs out in the late fall, we could use it earlier this year when we were going to be out for a fall hike, and again while we were going to be out until evening, watching the lunar eclipse. The sun wasn't terribly strong anymore in the fall, but we didn't get burned, and we didn't get bit either, even though we were right by a swamp, so I'd call that a success!
You can find BullFrog in a variety of stores, including Amazon.com, CVS, Target, Walgreens, and more.