The following recommendations can help reduce the risk of becoming infected with the virus:
- Stay indoors at dawn, dusk, and in the early evening.
- Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants whenever you are outdoors.
- Apply insect repellent sparingly to exposed skin. An effective repellent contains 20%-30% DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide). DEET in high concentrations (greater than 30%) may cause side effects, particularly in children. Avoid products containing more than 30% DEET.
- Repellents may irritate the eyes and mouth, so avoid applying repellent to the hands of children. Insect repellents should not be applied to very young children (under 3 years of age).
- Spray clothing with repellents containing permethrin or DEET since mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing.
- Whenever you use an insecticide or insect repellent, be sure to read and follow the manufacturer's directions for use, as printed on the product.
- Take preventive measures in and around your home. Repair or install door and window screens, use air conditioning, and reduce breeding sites (eliminate standing water).
- If you find a dead bird, the CDC recommends that you not handle the carcass with bare hands. Contact your local health department for instructions for the notification procedure and disposing of the carcass. They may tell you to dispose of the bird after they log your report.
- Note: Vitamin B and "ultrasonic" devices are not effective in preventing mosquito bites.
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