Health officials report human case of West Nile Virus in Arlington

(PHOTO: Arlington Co.)

ARLINGTON CO. – The first human case of West Nile Virus was reported for the first time in Arlington, Virginia this year.

Health officials say this case is a reminder that the virus is present in the community and region.

“West Nile Virus is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito,” said Dr. Reuben Varghese, Health Director and Division Chief for the Arlington County Public Health Division. “With the virus detected in mosquitoes in the region and with the recent rains contributing to more mosquito breeding, it is important for area residents to actively prevent mosquito breeding and biting or ‘Fight the Bite.’”

The best way to “fight the bite” is using the 3-Ds:

  • Drain or dump standing water. The most common mosquito breeding grounds on your property are water in flower pots, gutters, pet bowls, inflatable pools and birdbaths. If you cannot get rid of the standing water, put larvicide (such as Mosquito Dunks) in the water to kill developing mosquitoes. Be sure to read the instructions on the label.
  • Dress in long sleeves and pants. This will help protect your skin from mosquito bites. And don’t forget to wear socks!
  • Defend yourself. Choose a mosquito repellent that has been registered by the Environmental Protection Agency. Registered products have been reviewed, approved and pose minimal risk for human safety when used according to label directions. Four repellent that are approved and recommended are:
    • DEET (N, N-diethy-m-toluamide)
    • Picaridin (KBR 3023)
    • Oil of lemon eucalyptus (p-methane 3, 8-diol, or PMD)
    • IR3535

Additionally, avoid being outside where mosquitoes are especially common — at dawn and dusk — which are peak biting times.