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Mosquitoes Are Coming

photograph from Nature story

(4/23/2007)

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People of California are being warned about a virus. This virus can be spread by mosquitoes. It is called West Nile virus.

A man who is a State Public Health officer said that people should be careful. Because of the warm weather mosquitoes are breeding earlier that normal. No one can tell how bad West Nile virus might be this season. People should try to protect themselves from mosquito bites. All standing water should be cleared so mosquitoes can not breed. Also, insect repellent with DEET should be worn when outside.

It is also a good idea to stay inside during dawn and dusk. Mosquitoes are most active at this time. If someone must go outside they should wear long-sleeve shirts and pants.

No human cases of West Nile virus have been found yet in 2007. There have been areas that the virus has been found however. They are trying to reduce the number of mosquito breeding pools there.

Most people do not usually get extremely sick from the virus. They may get flu-like symptoms like fever, head and body aches. Sometimes it can be very serious. A person may contract encephalitis.

The first case of West Nile virus found in the United States was in 1999.

(This was adapted from an original story provided by News10 KXTV Sacramento.)

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