St. Louis encephalitis found in Mason Valley mosquitoes
June 23, 2005
The Mason Valley Mosquito District has found mosquitoes near the west end of Wilson Canyon carrying St. Louis encephalitis. Anyone who has to be in that area should take precautions to avoid mosquito bites:
• Wear long sleeves and long pants; loose clothing is best.
• Wear insect repellant and follow the label’s directions. Products containing “deet” are effective but should not be used on children’s skin. Children should use products containing lemon-eucalyptus or citronella, on their skin. Both products are effective for several hours and may be reapplied as needed. Deet products can be used safely on children’s clothes. Remember follow the label’s instructions.
• Avoid outside activity during dusk and dawn, the time when mosquitos are most active.
Symptoms of St. Louis encephalitis include mild infections without apparent symptoms other than fever with headache. More severe infection is marked by headache, high fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, occasional convulsions (especially in infants) and spastic (but rarely flaccid) paralysis.
The incubation period for St. Louis encephalitis is usually 15 days. A. There is no vaccination and no specific therapy for treatment. Intensive supportive therapy is indicated.
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More information on St. Louis encephalitis or personal protection may be found at http://www.cdc.gov