LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Ark. Dept. of Health) -- The weather may be turning cooler but that doesn't mean that you should stop protecting yourself and your family from mosquitoes. Fall weather is the perfect time to enjoy outdoor activities like ballgames, hunting, hiking, golf, and raking leaves. Arkansas weather changes rapidly and it is not uncommon to have warm days that bring the mosquitoes back out.
With mosquitoes comes the risk of West Nile Virus as well as unusual causes of infection such as Eastern equine encephalitis. "Most people who become infected will never even know it," according to Gary Wheeler, MD, Branch Chief Infectious Disease, Arkansas Department of Health. "However, we are very concerned about the people who are at highest risk for serious complications from these infections: Children, the elderly; immuno-compromised persons; those who suffer from serious chronic illnesses; and some others who might become very sick if they get infected" said Wheeler.
The best way to protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites is to practice the "Three Ds."
• Drain standing water from your yard. Empty standing water in flowerpots, buckets and kiddie pools.
• Don't go out at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes feed without protective clothing (long sleeves and pants).
• Do use insect repellents with the active ingredient DEET when you go outdoors.
For more information visit www.healthy.arkansas.gov and click on M and then mosquitoes.