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Protection From Mosquitoes
July 11, 2014

Eyewitness News Reporter Darrah Wilcox Most people consider mosquitoes pretty pesky.

"They annoy me very much. I'm allergic, and right now I have Skin So Soft in my car," Lynn Miller said.

Besides being annoying, they can also carry potentially dangerous diseases.

"My concern is the West Nile, the viruses that they carry and stuff," Miller said.

Dr. Kara Willenburg, an attending Infectious Diseases physician with Marshall Health, said mosquitoes are most prevalent at sunrise, sunset, and in the evenings.

"What you want to do to prevent mosquito-borne illnesses is to protect yourself against mosquitoes, she said.

Sometimes, you can't avoid being outside, so be sure to use repellant.

The Environmental Protection Agency recommends these ingredients:
- Oil of lemon eucalyptus (Children 3 & older)
- Picaridin -based products
- IR3535

You can use a search engine on their web site to find the best fit for you and your family.

Willenburg said for the best coverages, apply to your exposed skin and your clothing, not skin that's covered by clothing. To apply to your face, spray on your hands first and then apply.

"Wear long pants. Tuck your shirt into your pants. If you're in a particularly heavy mosquito area, you can tuck your pants into your socks," she advised.

Be sure to wash with soap and water to get off when you go back inside.

Keeping your areas around your house clean and free of mosquitoes is also important. Mosquitoes breed in water. "Anywhere where there's standing water, you want to prevent that. So old tires, old toys, old pots from your plants, you want to dump that water out," Willenburg said.

Citronella candles can work outside, but not from too far of a distance.

While a case of Chikungunya, a mosquito-borne illness transmitted in the Caribbean, was confirmed in West Virginia, the disease is not transmitted from person to person or found in mosquitoes in the United States.

"There's not transmission of this virus from mosquitoes inside the U.S., and so it's just an indication that when you travel to other countries as well you need to be aware of what illnesses and viruses you can acquire while you're there and protect yourself in appropriate ways," Willenburg said.

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