• Ronnie Shalev, MD

Summer Safety Series: Mosquito Prevention

Summer is here and so are the mosquitoes!

Mosquitos are not just annoying but they are potentially dangerous insects that carry multiple diseases that can cause you to be very sick and even kill you!

Have you heard of West Nile Virus, Malaria, or Zika Virus? These are diseases spread by mosquito bites that can cause high fevers, joint pains, headaches, rashes, back pain, and red eyes. In rare cases, people infected with the West Nile Virus can become paralyzed, have seizures, experience muscle weakness and vision loss and even become comatose.

The most effective way to avoid getting sick from viruses spread by mosquitoes is to prevent mosquito bites!

Prevention Tips:

Use insect repellent: The most effective chemical repellents contain DEET, Picaridin, PMD, or IR3535 insecticide. Make sure to apply more repellent around your ankles, feet, lower legs and wrists — mosquitoes love to bite these thin-skinned spots. Also, make sure to apply after applying sunscreen, and never apply on infants younger than 2 months.

Cover up: Wear light colored clothing, long sleeves, and long pants. Thicker fabrics and looser fits offer more protection than thin clothing that fits tightly. Mosquitoes may be able to bite through thin fabric. Net covers for strollers can help to create a barrier between babies and mosquitoes.

Keep mosquitoes outside: Keep windows closed or use windows with screens.

Remove mosquito habitats: Mosquitoes breed in standing water. In order to protect yourself, pour out any standing water, such as kiddie pools, planters, bird baths, and toys that collect water.

Try to stay indoors from dusk and dawn: While mosquitoes can bite at any time of day, you should limit your exposure during their prime feeding times.

Stay safe this summer!

-Dr. Ronnie Shalev is a board certified Emergency Medicine Physician and is the Chief Medical Officer of MediBookr