Use of DEET-based insect repellant important for prevention
August 17, 2012
The Iowa Department of Public Health says 693 cases of West Nile virus have been reported nationally. Iowa has had three cases; an expected number, considering Iowa's mosquito activity has been low (likely due to the dry conditions). Even so, Iowa typically sees most of its cases in August and September, so our West Nile season is actually just starting. The low mosquito activity may cause people to be less likely to use insect repellent. Even with the current low activity, it's important that DEET-based insect repellent be used when outdoors because it repels ticks, as well as mosquitoes. Cases of Lyme disease carried by ticks are up about 30 percent compared to last year. DEET-based insect repellent can help prevent West Nile virus, Lyme disease, and other diseases spread by insects.
For more information about DEET and the use of insect repellent on children, visit www.idph.state.ia.us/CADE/DiseaseIndex.aspx?disease=West Nile Virus. For information on tick-borne diseases, visit www.cdc.gov/ticks/diseases/index.html.