19 Human Cases of West Nile Virus and 11 cases of La Crosse Virus Infections in Tennessee

The Tennessee Department of Health is reminding consumers about the importance of protection from mosquitoes.. Photo credit: Filiford/morguefile.com

The Tennessee Department of Health has now confirmed 19 human cases of West Nile Virus infection and 11 cases of La Crosse Virus infection in the state so far in 2017. Mosquito-borne illness is more common during late summer and TDH recommends taking simple steps to avoid mosquito bites and help prevent mosquito-borne illnesses.
TDH urges Tennesseans to increase their efforts to avoid mosquitoes. It’s also important to limit mosquito breeding sites. Individuals can eliminate potential breeding sites if they tip and toss standing water and drain and cover objects near homes or businesses that may contain or collect water. A mosquito can lay eggs in a container as small as a soda bottle cap. Additionally, keeping window screens on your home or business in good condition helps to prevent mosquitoes from entering buildings.
Follow these additional tips to avoid mosquito bites:
• Use EPA-approved insect repellants containing DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535 on your skin. Follow all label recommendations for use. Pay particular attention to recommendations for use on children and never apply any of these products around the mouth or eyes at any age. Talk with a health care provider if questions arise.
• Use products containing permethrin, a highly effective insecticide, for clothing, shoes, bed nets and camping gear. Permethrin-treated clothing repels and kills ticks, mosquitoes and other pests and retains this effect after repeated laundering. Some commercial products are available pretreated with permethrin. As a caution, however, do not use permethrin directly on skin.
• Wear ‘’long, loose and light’’ clothing. It’s best to wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants. Tuck pants into socks and shirts into pants. Loose-fitting clothing helps prevent bites through the fabric. Light-colored clothes are less attractive to many insects and help make them easier to spot and remove.