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Excerpts --

Iowa Health Book: Infectious Diseases
Public Health Fact Sheet:
Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Peer Review Status: Reviewed by Department
of Public Health.

Ordinarily, mosquitoes are merely a nuisance.
Bites from these insects may cause local irritation
and in some instances swelling. Certain species
of mosquitos transmit West Nile (WN) and
Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). A serious
ailment caused by a virus. Symptoms include
high fever, stiff neck, headache and swelling of the
brain called -encephalitis- the most dangerous.
Cases have been documented. (Both WNV and
EEE are viruses transmitted through blood.)

How Can I Reduce My Exposure to Mosquitoes?
Avoid outdoor activity during peak hours of mosquito
feeding in the early morning and early evening. If you
must be outdoors during the times when mosquitos are
most active wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
Mosquito netting should be used to cover carriages
and playpens when infants are outdoors. Take special
care to cover up the arms and legs of children playing
outdoors near swampy areas.
Repair and securely fasten all screens on the doors
and windows of your home.
Eliminate backyard mosquito breeding areas.
Prevent the collection of standing water in old tires
ditches, gutters, wheelbarrows, wading pools, (overnight
bird baths and the likes).
Most common and effective chemical insect
repellents for outdoor use are those that contain
the active ingredient Deet NN-diethyl-meta-tolua
nide. Available in varying concentrations ranging
from 7.5% to 100% DEET. Lower concentrations
are appropriate for most outdoor environments.
In a published handbook of pesticide toxicology,
it is recommended that only products containing
lower concentrations of DEET (usually 15%)
should be used on children. Refer to the product
label for DEET concentration information.
Should I Use a Mosquito Repellent?
If these personal precautions do not sufficiently
reduce your exposure to mosquitos, or if you
live in an area of high risk for the EEE (or West
NIle Virus) you may want to consider a
mosquito repellent for personal protection.
What Are Mosquito Repellents and What
Types are Available ?
Repellents can be compounds that are applied
to exposed skin and / or clothing. Commercial
repellents come in a variety of forms: sprays,
liquids, creams, lotions, pre-moistened, sticks,
and towelettes. (Aside from electronic devices):
Cream, lotion and stick formulations may be
preferable for use on children.
Repellents that contain citronella oil extract from
a lemon-scented grass are also available. (T.C.
note: Lemon grass oil can irritate sensitive skin.)
These products provide moderate protection.
Commercial concentrated oil Avon Skin-So-Soft
has come into wide use as a mosquito repellent.
Products containing "Permethrin" are available.
These products are for use on outer clothing
only. Do not apply permethrin to the skin. The
EPA has canceled the registration of products
containing 2-ethyl-1,3 hexanediol and "R-11"
Please check old labels and carefully discard
repellents with these ingredients listed.
Are There Potential Adverse Reactions to (chemical
or oil) Mosquito Repellents?
Repellents may be absorbed through the skin and cause
acute illness. The EPA Environmental Protection Agency
has received a number of reports of adverse reactions
following application of products containing DEET. The
symptoms in children reported are: headache, mood
changes, crying, irritability, confusion, and nausea.
Convulsions and unconsciousness were noted. Some
individuals experience skin irritations or allergic reactions.
Ingestion of products containing DEET has resulted in
acute toxicity characterized by low blood pressure,
seizures and unconsciousness.
The Mosquito War ...
Some Backup !
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