Information on mosquitoes
Previously thought by most Americans to be merely a nuisance, these pests have been at the center of a recent rapidly spreading public health threat – West Nile Virus. Although currently the most famous, West Nile Virus is just one of many illnesses spread by mosquitoes.
Mosquitoes are most likely to be found around and breed in stagnant water. Travelers that are planning to spend time in marshy areas, around standing ponds, or other areas close to unmoving water should come prepared to battle with these pests.
The best defense against mosquitoes is an active offense:
- Travelers should avoid going outdoors when and where mosquitoes are typically most active. Some mosquitoes are active during the day and others are active at night depending on the area.
- Insect repellent should be applied on clothing near exposed skin whenever and wherever mosquitoes are most likely to bite.
- The most effective repellents currently available contain the active ingredient, N, N-diethylbenzamide (DEET), in concentrations up to about 35% (greater concentrations don’t offer better protection).
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long-legged pants, preferably treated with a repellent as well.
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