Mosquito Control Awareness Week - June 20-26 2010
June 18, 2010
The Fairfax County Health Department encourages residents to take a proactive approach to controlling mosquitoes in the community and guarding against bites during Mosquito Control Awareness Week and throughout the year.
"We want to raise awareness because we know that West Nile virus is still active in Fairfax County,” said Gloria Addo-Ayensu, M.D., M.P.H., Fairfax County Director of Health. “There are simple steps that people can take to protect everyone and reduce the risk of infection for themselves and the whole community."
Throughout the warm months, residents should pay close attention to eliminating mosquito breeding sites around their homes:
- Turn over or remove containers in your yard where rainwater collects, such as potted plant trays, buckets, or toys
- Empty bird baths once a week
- Remove old tires from your yard
- Clean roof gutters and make sure corrugated drain pipes do not hold water
- Eliminate standing water
- Standing water that cannot be drained and lasts longer than a week should be treated with a mosquito larvicide
When outdoors, people can limit exposure to mosquito bites by wearing long, loose and light-colored clothing and using a repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR-3535.
The Fairfax County Health Department’s Disease Carrying Insects Program (DCIP) conducts mosquito and West Nile virus surveillance. In 2009, one human case of West Nile virus was reported in Fairfax County. A total of five cases were reported in the Commonwealth of Virginia in 2009.
“Even though it is early in the season we have already confirmed West Nile virus in a sample of mosquitoes taken this month in Fairfax County,” said Jorge Arias, PhD., Entomologist and DCIP Supervisor. “We will continue to remain vigilant in our surveillance.”
About one in 150 people infected with West Nile virus will develop severe illness. Symptoms may include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, muscle weakness, and nausea. People over the age of 50 are at greater risk of serious complications from mosquito-borne diseases.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors declared June 20-26, 2010 Mosquito Control Awareness Week in Fairfax County, recognizing environmentally sound mosquito control practices and promoting public education. To learn more about mosquito control and prevention and West Nile virus, visit www.fairfaxcounty.gov/fightthebite.