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Prevent Mosquitoes From Ruining Labor Day Fun

Tips to avoid mosquito bites and detect West Nile Virus symptoms.

Backyard barbecues are a time-honored tradition on Labor Day Weekend, but this year public health officials are recommending that residents take extra measures to protect themselves against unwanted guests—mosquitoes. 

Responsible for the spread of West Nile virus in 47 states, including Maryland, the tiny pests with a big bite have caused 41 deaths so far this year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s the highest number of WNV infections since it was first reported in the United States in 1999.

While most of the cases are in Texas, Maryland health officials just reported the state's this year. Officials say 13 cases have been reported so far in 2012. Baltimore County announced in the Milford area.

While most who become infected with WNV don’t even know it due to lack of symptoms, about 20 percent of people will develop West Nile fever, characterized by fever, headache, body aches, fatigue, vomiting, swollen lymph nodes and at times, a rash, according to the CDC.

Children, the elderly and people with compromised immune systems are at a higher risk of developing more serious symptoms, such as disorientation, tremors and coma. West Nile fever can persist for days or weeks and can be fatal.

Protect yourself against WNV this holiday weekend by minimizing your exposure to mosquitoes with these tips:

  • Avoid mosquito-infested areas, especially at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active. 
  • Mosquitoes can breed in standing water. Eliminate standing water on your property by dumping or draining water in neglected ponds, birdbaths, fountains, buckets, old tires or anything that can hold water. Dumping or draining water will interrupt the mosquito life cycle. 
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants if you plan to be outdoors at dawn or dusk. 
  • Use mosquito repellent containing DEET, Picaridin or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus. Residents should follow instructions on the label. Consult with your child’s pediatrician for appropriate concentrations of DEET to be used on children under the age of two. 
  • Keep tight-fitting screens on doors and windows to prevent mosquitoes from entering homes and check to make sure your window screens are in good condition. 
  • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools and drain water from pool covers. 
  • Limit the watering of lawns and outdoor plants to twice a week to avoid runoff to gutters and around sprinklers. 
Baltimore Matt September 01, 2012 at 07:04 PM
Hey Nick, you sound like every aging a$ s hole who participates in white flight in the region... the answer to the city's problems is not to run but to stand your ground as a middle class citizen and complain loudly.
Nick September 02, 2012 at 05:12 AM
@ bmore matt Good luck with that. Funny how you immediately played the race card when my post said nothing about race being a factor. Plenty of white a holes dont pay taxes either. Keep living there Matt. Someone has to pay taxes. I will just afford my children the opportunity to go to a well funded school in a nice clean neighborhood where I am less likely to end up a statistic on the evening news. You can continue to fight a losing battle if you want. The world needs martyrs too.
Baltimore Matt September 02, 2012 at 11:29 AM
Nick...race card? What race card? I'm white with blond hair and blue eyes... fact is I live in the city, enjoy a quick 2 mile commute, enjoy having a walkable environment, and own a home built in higher quality manner than 95% of those in suburbia. My family helped to build this city and a I refuse to abandon it. You can go on having 25 mile plus each way commutes and paying Saudi Arabia for that luxury and I will enjoy being home in 10 minutes at the end of my day enjoying time with my family. It's funny that people outside of the city within the region sh it on the city but don't stop to think that their little quiet cul-de-sac wouldn't exist without it...
Joe September 02, 2012 at 01:24 PM
"their little quiet cul-de-sac wouldn't exist without it..." Why wouldn't the suburbs exist without the city? Seeing as how the suburban taxpayers subsidize the city budget, how is it possible?
Joe September 02, 2012 at 01:25 PM
Balt Matt, do you have school age children yet and if so do they attend public schools in the city?

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