West Nile Virus 2012 Statistics
West Nile virus is a common concern among Americans – and rightfully so. West Nile virus has continued to spread across the country since the first reported incidence in 1999. The worst year for the mosquito-borne disease was 2002, which saw nearly 3,000 severe cases and 284 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, experts are predicting that the outbreak in 2012 might become the deadliest ever. As of September 18, there have been 3,142 cases and 134 deaths reported to the CDC this year.
There are a number of precautions that people can take to protect their home and family from mosquitoes and minimize the potential of contracting West Nile virus. The NPMA recommends the following tips:
- Eliminate or reduce mosquito-breeding sites around the home by replacing all standing water at least once a week. This includes birdbaths, flowerpots, grill covers, baby pools and other objects where water collects. Mosquitoes on need about ½ inch of water to breed.
- Screen windows, doors, and other openings with mesh. Repair even the smallest tear or hole.
- Use mesh that is 18X18 strands per inch, or finer.
- Seal around all screen edges; and keep doors and windows shut to prevent entry of most mosquito species.
- Minimize outside activity between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
- When outdoors, wear long-sleeved shirts and long-legged pants.
- Use an insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon-eucalyptus on exposed skin whenever outdoors. Check product labels for information on age restrictions to make sure they are safe for your toddler or infant.