Protect yourself from West Nile virus
The spread of West Nile virus in California poses a health concern for rural Californians and poses a particular threat to horses. Because mosquitoes spread the disease, authorities urge Californians to reduce their exposure to mosquitoes and to help reduce mosquito populations.
Public health authorities say people can protect themselves from West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne illnesses by taking steps including:
- Avoid being outside when mosquitoes are active--dawn and dusk.
- Wear protective clothing outside, such as long pants and long-sleeved shirts.
- Use insect repellent containing DEET, following label instructions.
- Eliminate standing water that provides mosquitoes with breeding grounds.
The state of California offers a property maintenance checklist.
Horses are particularly vulnerable to West Nile virus, but a vaccination is available. Veterinarians, government agencies and horse associations all encourage horse owners to have their animals vaccinated.
As a service to rural Californians and horse owners, the California Farm Bureau offers the following links to resource pages containing more information about West Nile virus and how to prevent it.
- California "Fight the Bite" campaign
- California Department of Health Services WNV information
- Centers for Disease Control WNV information