DHR to older adults: Protect yourself against mosquito bites

by | July 30, 2007 12:00 am

Because adults age 50 and older are more at risk of severe illnesses from mosquito-borne viruses such as Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile Virus (WNV), the Georgia Department of Human Resources Division of Aging Services (DAS) is giving tips to older Georgians to protect themselves from mosquito bites throughout the summer and into the fall. State health officials recently confirmed that horses in Bibb and Lowndes counties have tested positive for EEE, and two pools of mosquitoes carrying WNV have been found in Fulton County. In Georgia, mosquitoes are even more active in early fall and late spring.

“Anyone can be affected by mosquito-borne illnesses, but our older population and at-risk adults are more susceptible to severe illnesses from West Nile virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis,” said Maria Greene, Director of DAS. “We want to alert them of preventative measures to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes so they can live longer, safely and well.”

Older adults should drain discarded tires and flower pots in their backyards where mosquito can breed, limit the time they spend outside between dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active, use an insect repellant containing DEET or Picaridin on exposed skin, and, when the weather permits, wear long sleeves and long pants outside. Repair window and door screens to keep mosquitoes out of the house, or if the residence doesn’t have screens, install them.

For more information about West Nile Virus, visit the website http://health.state.ga.us /epi/vbd/mosquito.asp. For information about aging services, visit their website at www.aging.dhr.georgia. gov or call toll-free at 1-866-55-Aging (1-866- 552-4464).

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