Health & Safety

October 4, 2013

Enemy among us not apparent

Courtesy photo

The enemy is out there like a sleepless unstoppable force, ever watchful for an opportunity to strike. It’s merciless and doesn’t care who it attacks including children and the elderly. It hides in trees, bushes, pools, backyards and doesn’t ignore open windows or doors to enter houses. This enemy cannot be reasoned with or bribed, and it is focused on one goal – to infect as many people as possible. This enemy is the mosquito and it’s here year-round.

Mosquitoes are carriers of many diseases including malaria, West Nile virus and even dengue fever. WNV is a serious disease in Arizona. Symptoms include fever, headache and rash. Those most at risk include the elderly and people with weakened immune systems.

Last year alone, there were a total of 125 cases of WNV resulting in fewer than five deaths. When just one mosquito infected with WNV is caught in Maricopa County, the Public Health office begins trapping early to fight back against the disease. It will take combined efforts to protect the Luke Air Force Base community while at the same time helping to protect Arizona.

Mosquitoes are in peak biting mode from dawn to dusk. To protect against bites, use insect repellent on all exposed skin. A person can be bitten by multiple mosquitoes in just a short period of time. Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control recommend the use of an EPA-registered repellent containing DEET, Picaridin or oil from lemon eucalyptus.

Mosquitoes have the ability to bite through thin clothing, but clothes can be treated with repellent that contains Permethrin. Wear long sleeves, pants and socks when outdoors if weather permits and apply repellent for fabric to clothes and not skin.

The home can also be protected from mosquitoes. The first step is to limit or eliminate standing water around the outside of the home. Baby pools and bird bath reservoirs are breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Protect against mosquito eggs and larvae forming by draining standing water between uses. To keep mosquitoes outside, install well-fitting screens on windows and doors.

Following these steps will add a measure of protection for home and family.




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