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  • Reduce Your Risk

  • Viral Encephalitis

    Here's how you can prevent viruses carried by  mosquitoes:

    • Empty any containers of standing water in your yard; if they're necessary (i.e., a birdbath), change the water weekly. An old tire collecting rainwater can breed thousands of mosquitoes.
    • Stay indoors at dawn, dusk, and in the early evening.
    • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
    • Use insect repellent with 20-35% percent DEET or permethrin on exposed skin and on thin clothing. Avoid repellents with higher DEET concentrations. Follow the directions on the repellent bottle carefully.
    • Be careful when covering the kids with repellents. Insect repellents can irritate the eyes and mouth, so use it on their hands sparingly. Do not use any repellents on kids under 3.
    • Remember, Vitamin B and ultrasonic devices don't deter mosquitoes.

    Domestic animals, including dogs and cats, are at risk for some types of encephalitis, including West Nile Virus. Dogs are at a higher risk than cats, and horses are most at risk. Pets can't transmit the disease to their owners or to other animals. If you suspect an animal has encephalitis, contact a veterinarian immediately. Most likely it will recover from the disease.