West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne illness. Up to 80 percent of people infected with West Nile virus will have no symptoms and will recover on their own, however, some cases can cause serious illness or death.
People over 50 and those with weakened immune systems are at a higher risk of becoming ill if they become infected with the virus.
Your best defense is to practice these habits, known as the “Four Ds”:
- Use insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
- Dress in long sleeves and long pants when you are outside.
- Stay indoors at dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
- Drain standing water where mosquitoes breed. Common breeding sites include old tires, flowerpots and clogged rain gutters.
To learn more about West Nile virus, see the following Fact Sheet.