Fri March 7, 2003
Avoid Mosquitoes in Droves--Empty Standing Water
Atlanta, Ga. – One way to keep mosquitoes from invading your home territory is to keep them from breeding near your house. With better weather, it's a good time to scout around your yard. Pick up trash and empty any containers that may have accumulated recent precipitation to keep mosquitoes from breeding there.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes it will soon be time for West Nile virus watches to begin around the nation with some birds considered to give early warning as they are susceptible to the mosquito-borne illness.
Last year Oklahoma's State Department of Health reported there were two deaths of Oklahomans due to the West Nile virus, one from Oklahoma County, another from Tulsa County. Birds which include blue jays and American crows are especially susceptible to West Nile Virus.
New research shows susceptible birds, in addition to getting West Nile by being bitten by mosquitoes, also can get it by eating and drinking from food and water sources contaminated with the virus. They also can catch West Nile by being put in the same cage with an infected bird.
Horses also can be infected by West Nile virus, but they can be vaccinated to build immunity against this illness. Research was being done to develop a vaccine for humans.