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Mosquitoes are back, how to protect yourself

Posted at 12:11 PM, May 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-03 11:23:33-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mosquito-borne illnesses affect 100 million people per year around the globe. Mosquitoes are making their return for the summer, and the West Nile Virus is coming with. It's important to protect yourself against mosquito-borne illness.

The Douglas County Health Department is using larvicide in breeding ponds to prevent the spread of West Nile. Using CDC funding, DCHD will trap mosquitoes every other week beginning Tuesday to gauge their population in the county.

Trapped mosquitoes are tested for disease at the state public health lab.

"The West Nile Virus is established in Douglas County and we can expect more cases," Health Director Adi Pour said. "With the flooding we saw this spring it will be important for everyone to pay attention to standing water."

The mosquitoes that carry West Nile are most active around dusk and dawn, and mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus are active during the day.

Here is how to protect yourself:
- You can apply a mosquito repellent that includes DEET, and the CDC also has approved picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus.
- When using sunscreen, the CDC recommends applying sunscreen before repellent and avoid using combined products.
- Wear loose, long-sleeved shirts, plus pants, shoes and socks when outdoors.
- Avoid outdoor activity around dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
- Remove standing water or report it to the Health Department for treatment.
- Only a small percentage of mosquitoes carry a virus.