STAMFORD, Conn. — With three people in Stamford being diagnosed with West Nile Virus this year, the city’s Department of Public Health, warns that people should still be aware of the spread of the disease.
Most people infected with the disease show no symptoms or mild ones such as fever, headache, body aches, nausea, vomiting, or a skin rash, a news release from the department said. Victims can also experience more severe illnesses to the nervous system including neck stiffness, disorientation, loss of consciousness, tremors, muscle weakness, and paralysis, the release said.
People over 50 or with compromised immune systems are more at risk to get the more severe symptoms, the release said.
If you experience any symptoms call your health-care provider or visit the emergency room.
Here is a list of precautions the Department of Public Health listed:
• Minimize time outdoors at dusk and dawn.
• Be sure door and window screens are tight fitting and in good repair.
• Wear shoes, socks, long pants, and long-sleeved shirts. Clothing material should be tightly woven.
• Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors.
• Consider using mosquito repellent when it is necessary to be outdoors. Always use according to label instructions. The most effective repellents contain DEET or Picaridin.
• When using DEET, use the lowest concentration effective for the time spent outdoors (for example, 6% lasts approximately two hours and 20% for four hours) and wash treated skin when returning indoors. Do not apply under clothing, to wounds or irritated skin, the hands of children, or to infants less than two months old.
Here is are measures to reduce mosquitoes around the home the Department of Public Health listed:
• Dispose of water-holding containers, such as ceramic pots, used tires, and tire swings.
• Drill holes in the bottom of containers such as those used for recycling.
• Clean clogged roof gutters.
• Turn over objects that may trap water when not in use such as wading pools and wheelbarrows.
• Change water in birdbaths on a weekly basis.
• Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, and when not in use, use pool covers and drain when necessary.
• Use landscaping to eliminate areas where water can collect on your property.
Additional resources for information on West Nile virus and mosquito management:
• The Department of Public Health website at www.ct.gov/dph
• The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station Web site at www.ct.gov/caes
• The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov