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Tagged : west-nile-virus

How to protect yourself from West Nile Virus

June 1st, 2013

Summer brings so much fun, but it’s also the dreaded season of the mosquito, and by that we mean, the Culex mosquito, which transmits West Nile Virus to humans. The virus can be deadly, so squelching the mosquito population and finding an effective repellent is important. Here’s a look at the latest thinking and the ingredients endorsed as effective mosquito repellents.

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Natural ways to reduce mosquitoes in your yard

August 23rd, 2012

With the U.S. in the grip of possibly the worst outbreak of West Nile Virus ever, people need to do all they can to avoid getting bitten by the Culex mosquito that carries the disease and reduce the mosquito population in their yard…residents may be able to repel or reduce the mosquitoes living and reproducing in their yards by applying botanical oils that mosquitoes find disagreeable. A caveat: These products are no substitute for protecting your person (please refer back to the advice above). But they could reduce the mosquitoes breeding in and visiting your yard.

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How to protect yourself from West Nile Virus

August 17th, 2012

West Nile Virus has caused more sickness and death this year than any other season since the disease emerged in the U.S. a decade ago, according to The Centers for Disease Control.

As of Aug. 14, the CDC had confirmed 693 cases of human infections caused by mosquito-borne West Nile Virus nationwide, with 336 of those in Texas.

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Natural and necessary ways to keep West Nile virus at bay

August 10th, 2012

By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

Mosquito-borne West Nile virus has spiked this summer, causing more serious illnesses than any year since 2004 — a total of 390 confirmed and presumed cases as of Aug. 7, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

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NASA space photos capture global warming’s dramatic impact

February 26th, 2010

Global warming skeptics have had a field day lampooning reported irregularities in data from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — concluding that climate change is essentially a hoax. But NASA has just released dramatic images, some of which date back almost a decade, that stand as compelling evidence that the impact that humans have on our environment is having a profound impact on not only our weather patterns, but on the planet as well.

From floods and droughts to heat waves and ice melt, NASA says the impact of a warming world is being manifested ways that are clearly documented by its satellite cameras in space. These images are published with the permission of NASA. You can see a larger image on the NASA site by clicking the image:


Image taken on April 12, 2009 by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA’s Terra satellite. (Photo: NASA/GSFC/METI/ERSDAC/JAROS, and U.S./Japan ASTER Science Team)

The Wilkins Ice Shelf is a thick slab of ice on the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula. Since 2008, it has experienced several breakups. NASA says the ice began to rapidly retreat in February and in May another breakup occurred. Fresh cracks appeared on the shelf in late November 2008 and by the beginning of 2009, a narrow ice bridge was all that remained to connect the ice shelf to ice fragments fringing nearby Charcot Island. NASA reports that bridge gave way in early April 2009. This image was taken just days after the ice bridge rupture. “Since ice reflects light from the sun, as polar ice caps melt, less sunlight gets reflected into space,” NASA says. “It is instead absorbed by the ocean and land, increasing surface heat budgets and fueling further melting.”

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What’s the buzz? More natural mosquito repellents hitting the market

July 10th, 2009

Photo: CDC Public Health Image Library

Female Aedes aegypti mosquito, which spreads dengue

By Melissa Segrest
Green Right Now

Ahh, the sounds of summer. Birds chirping, food sizzling on the grill, the buzzing and buzzing and buzzing, the slapping, the spraying and, of course, the slamming of the back door as everyone races back inside.

Summer’s biggest bummer is that swarm of mosquitoes heading your way. As if their irritating blood-sucking isn’t bad enough, they can carry serious diseases.

Of the roughly 200 species of mosquitoes in the U.S., according to the fact-filled American Mosquito Control Association website, there are varieties that can transmit West Nile virus, malaria, dengue and Eastern Equine encephalitis.

There are lots of products on the market that promise to repel mosquitoes. The ones considered most effective, since 1957, contain the chemical DEET. It’s been approved by the EPA, the American Academy of Pediatrics and Centers for Disease Control for use on anyone older than 2 months.

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Mosquitoes…Have to beat them, should you DEET them?

July 3rd, 2009

By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

It comes up every summer, that pesty green quandary: Should you use strong chemicals like DEET to fend off the mosquitoes and ticks that can transmit the insidious Lyme Disease and the potentially deadly West Nile Virus?

We want to use less toxic protection, formulas that are based on natural ingredients or at least those that haven’t been shown to cause neurological damage (albeit in rare cases). Ironically, using DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide) to protect against West Nile forces you to choose between potential rare neurological side effects. Will you overreact to DEET or be the unlucky one whose case of West Nile runs amok, producing neurological manifestations? Which raises the question — what are the odds?

Turns out you are more likely to get a severe case of West Nile than you are to have a bad reaction to DEET (and you can control that possibility with careful application). The Centers for Disease Control reports that there were 44 fatalities caused by West Nile in the US in 2008 from among the 687 cases in which the virus mushroomed into encephalitis or meningitis (meaning it induced swelling in the brain or spinal cord.)

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