County LogoClallam County, Washington

Prevention


What can I do to reduce my risk of becoming infected with West Nile virus?

Protect yourself from mosquito bites!

Apply insect repellent sparingly to exposed skin. The more DEET a repellent contains the longer time it can protect you from mosquito bites. A higher percentage of DEET in a repellent does not mean that your protection is better—just that it will last longer. DEET concentrations higher than 50% do not increase the length of protection. Choose a repellent that provides protection for the amount of time that you will be outdoors.

  • Repellents may irritate the eyes and mouth, so avoid applying repellent to the hands of children.
  • Whenever you use an insecticide or insect repellent, be sure to read and follow the manufacturer's DIRECTIONS FOR USE, as printed on the product.
  • For detailed information about using repellents, see the Insect Repellent Use and Safety questions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Website.

Spray clothing with repellents containing permethrin or DEET since mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing. Do not apply repellents containing permethrin directly to exposed skin. If you spray your clothing, there is no need to spray repellent containing DEET on the skin under your clothing.

When possible, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants whenever you are outdoors.

Place mosquito netting over infant carriers when you are outdoors with infants.

Consider staying indoors at dawn, dusk, and in the early evening, which are peak mosquito biting times.

Install or repair window and door screens so that mosquitoes cannot get indoors.

Reduce the number of mosquitoes!

Help reduce the number of mosquitoes in areas outdoors where you work or play, by draining sources of standing water. In this way, you reduce the number of places mosquitoes can lay their eggs and breed.

  • At least once or twice a week, empty water from flower pots, pet food and water dishes, birdbaths, swimming pool covers, buckets, barrels, and cans.
  • Check for clogged rain gutters and clean them out.
  • Remove discarded tires, and other items that could collect water.
  • Be sure to check for containers or trash in places that may be hard to see, such as under bushes or under your home.

Note: Vitamin B and "ultrasonic" devices are NOT effective in preventing mosquito bites.

Is there a vaccine against West Nile encephalitis for humans?

No, but several companies are working towards developing a vaccine.

Clallam County Health & Human Services
Contact Us