Did you know Wyoming’s most dangerous animal is the mosquito? Mosquitos are known to pass many diseases that affect Wyoming residents, in some instances causing death.
You can help prevent mosquito bites by doing the following:
- Check for areas in your yard with standing water and empty or change the water weekly (bird baths, tires, buckets, etc). Mosquitoes can breed in as little as 1” of water!
- Be sure the screens on your home do not have holes in them. If your screens have any holes, replace the window screens.
- Wear EPA approved mosquito spray, especially in the mornings and evenings
- Wear light-colored, long-sleeved shirts and pants, especially in the mornings and evenings
- Check your septic tank for cracks or broken piping and repair it.
- Use an insect spray to treat damp, dark places outside your home.
DISEASES TRANSMITTED TO HUMANS FROM MOSQUITOES
West Nile Virus
West Nile Virus is transmitted to humans from the bite of an infected mosquito. Culex pipiens and Culex tarsalis are the most common species that transmit West Nile in Natrona County.
70%-80% of people do not know they have been infected with the West Nile Virus. For others, symptoms include fever, headache, body aches, joint pain, vomiting diarrhea or rash. IN less than 1% of infected people, a neurologic illness that causes brain swelling can occur. The symptoms of this rare condition include: headache, high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, tremors, seizures or paralysis
There is no vaccine for West Nile Virus. To avoid getting West Nile, you should protect yourself from being bitten by mosquitos by wearing long sleeve shirts and pants, avoiding going outside when mosquitos are active (Mornings and evenings) and using an EPA approved mosquito repellent.
Zika Virus has very few symptoms and goes unnoticed by many who are infected with it. Most common symptoms are rash, red eyes, fever and joint pain. Unfortunately, Zika Virus also causes a specific birth defect, called microcephaly, in a fetus, resulting in a smaller than normal skull size and abnormal brain development. CNCHD want to caution anyone traveling to Zika effected countries and states to take precautions to reduce mosquito bites. These include:
- Use mosquito spray with DEET
- Wear light-colored, long sleeved shirts and pants
- Use mosquito nets over beds
Zika Virus is unique in that it is not only spread by mosquitoes but is also sexually transmitted. An infected person can pass the disease to a sexual partner without knowing it. If you have traveled to a country or state where Zika Virus is known to be, use a condom to avoid giving the virus to a partner, especially if that partner is pregnant, if that partner is pregnant a condom is necessary for the duration of the pregnancy. Further details about length of condom use can be found at www.cdc.gov/zika.