TOPEKA, Kan. – With the recent rain, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) encourages Kansans to take preventative measures to protect themselves against mosquitoes.
"Certain mosquitoes can carry arborviral diseases such as the West Nile virus and the Saint Louis Encephalitis virus, which are spread to humans via mosquito bites," said Lee Norman, KDHE secretary. "Because these can be deadly, prevention is the key."
KDHE recommends the following three prevention measures:
DRAIN – remove stagnant water where mosquitoes live and breed
• Empty stagnant water from flower pots, buckets, tarps, old tires and any place where rainwater collects.
• Turn the water into animal dishes and weekly the water into bird baths.
• Drill holes in the tire swing so that the water drains away.
• Keep children wading pools empty and on their side when they are not being used.
• If water cannot be drained, larvicide can be used to control mosquito populations and is easily available in retail stores.
DRESS – cover your skin with clothing when you are outside
• Wear protective clothing when practical (long sleeves and pants).
• Limit outdoor activities during twilight and morning when the mosquitoes are most active.
DEET – use insect repellents that come in contact with DEET or other EPA approved insect repellants
• When used as directed, EPA-registered insect repellent has proven to be safe and effective, even for pregnant and breast-feeding women.
Currently, Kansas has not reported cases of the West Nile virus or the Saint Louis Encephalitis virus, but KDHE reminds people to take preventative measures because the circumstances can increase the mosquito population.
For more information about arboviral diseases and risk levels in Kansas, visit: http://www.kdheks.gov/epi/arboviral_disease.htm.