Take care to prevent West Nile in basin | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Take care to prevent West Nile in basin

After a wetter than normal winter, with a snowpack that has continued to stick around, 2005 has all the ingredients in the Lake Tahoe Basin to be a bad mosquito year. These conditions, combined with the growing threat of West Nile Virus, mean we have to take extra care to prevent the disease’s spread as summer continues.

Although most people who contract West Nile show no symptoms, it has proven to be a deadly disease in other parts of the world, and its presence in basin mosquitoes this year has already been confirmed by health officials. Already, one human case has been reported in Tahoe City, and dead birds infected with the virus have shown up throughout the area.

Particularly susceptible to the virus are the elderly and those with compromised immune systems. To battle the disease, officials recommend:

— Destroy mosquito habitat (by eliminating sources of standing water).

— Wear mosquito repellent.

— Avoid going outside during periods when the insects are most active.

— Make sure doors, windows and screens are secure at home.

West Nile virus will likely make its way to every state, and eventually every community, in the United States. Individuals should do their best to protect themselves as the spread continues.

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