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“Department of Health (DOH) has confirmed a single human case of West Nile Virus in the District”

mosquito
Photo by PoPville flickr user quemac

From the Government of the District of Columbia Department of Health:

“**WEST NILE VIRUS/MOSQUITO PRESENCE IN THE DISTRICT **

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The District of Columbia Department of Health (DOH) has confirmed a single human case of West Nile Virus in the District. DOH and its health and medical partners are closely monitoring the well-being of the District of Columbia resident who has since improved and been released from a local hospital. A West Nile Virus human case has been identified during the summer months for the last three consecutive years.

DOH is advising residents and visitors to be mindful of the presence of mosquitoes during the warm summer months when mosquitoes are most active.  Mosquitoes can transmit diseases including the West Nile Virus to humans and animals. DOH will continue to conduct its Arbovirus Surveillance and Response Plan, including the West Nile Surveillance Program, in all eight wards of the District. The program, conducted yearly, includes surveillance, prevention, control and response components.

Residents are encouraged to help protect against mosquito bites by:

· Wearing proper protective clothing such as long sleeves and pants, when outdoors in known mosquito activity areas taking extra care during peak mosquito biting hours (dusk to dawn).

· Applying insect repellents to exposed areas of the body; and

· Eliminating standing water on private property including pots, trash bins, tires, etc.

Standing water in private property may result in fines under the Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases Control Emergency Act of 2005 (DC Official Code § 8-2131, et. seq).

· Covering tires stored outside before each rain and uncover them promptly afterwards to prevent water from standing on the tarps.

· Cleaning roof gutters and downspouts regularly. Eliminating standing water from flat roofs.

· Turning over plastic wading pools, wheelbarrows, and canoes when not in use.

· Covering waste containers with tight-fitting lids; never allowing lids or cans to accumulate water.

· Flushing bird baths and potted plant trays twice each week.

· Adjusting tarps over grills, firewood piles, boats or swimming pools to eliminate small pockets of water from standing several days.

· Re-grading low areas where water stands and clean out debris in ditches to eliminate standing water in low spots.

· Maintaining swimming pools, clean and chlorinating them as needed, aerating garden ponds and treating with “mosquito dunks” found at hardware stores.

· Fixing dripping water faucets outside and eliminating puddles from air conditioners.

· Storing pet food and water bowls inside when not in use.

Taking these preventative measures is critical in minimizing the presence of mosquitoes and reducing the risk of residents contracting the West Nile Virus and other infectious diseases.

For more information on preventing mosquito bites and information on the West Nile Virus and its symptoms visit the District of Columbia Department of Health at doh | Department of Health or the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov or by calling (202) 535-2323 between the hours of 8:15am and 4:45pm.”

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