It's not the first thing one thinks about when the summer season arrives. Usually, thoughts of cookouts, the beach and the pool flood your mind. But the reality is, it's also a time when people need to protect themselves from West Nile Virus.
Dawn and dusk are the times people are most likely to be bitten by a mosquito. That's because they like cooler temperatures and warm, moist areas. As the summer progresses, the threat of contracting West Nile Virus increases. Warmer, more humid temperatures create a suitable environment for mosquitoes to more successfully carry the virus.
In some parts of the country, the mosquito population almost doubles during the height of the summer. According to the Department of Health and Human Services in Nebraska, 47 cases of West Nile Virus were reported. This year though, not one case has come to the department's attention. Health officials say they hope this trend will continue.
To keep them away, get rid of any standing water around your home. This could be a child's pool, a birdbath or even a simple bucket on your patio. Any amount of standing water can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Wear long pants, long sleeves and socks if prolonged, outdoor activity cannot be avoided.
Experts say using repellent with "Deet" can drastically lower the risk of contracting West Nile Virus.
West Nile Virus can cause flu-like symptoms like fatigue, headaches, muscle aches and malaise. Officials say if you've been bitten by a mosquito and are feeling any of these symptoms, you should seek medical attention immediately.