Mosquitos linger following severe storm


Last weeks mega-storm left behind more than downed power lines and trees, it also created multiple mosquito breeding habitats something that, in the long run, could prove a serious health hazard.

The day after the storm, the Alexandria Health Department issued a warning of the increased risk of mosquito-borne diseases in the aftermath of the storm. It urged the public to use personal protection when mosquito exposure appears likely.

There is more standing water around neighborhoods, many damaged homes that allow mosquitoes access to people indoors and more residents spending time outdoors cleaning up debris and making repairs, said Dr. Stephen Haering, the citys health director. People need to remember that we face risk from West Nile and Eastern equine encephalitis viruses as well as other mosquito-borne diseases this time of year. 

Individuals over 50 are also at greater risk from serious complications from West Nile virus and EEE, according to the state health department

The Alexandria Health Department offered the following tips to reduce mosquito exposure: Wear long, loose, light-colored clothing; use insect repellent products with picardin or no more than 50 percent DEET for adults and no more than 30 percent for children; turn over or remove potential water containers in yards; eliminate standing water in tarps or on flat roofs; clean roof gutters and downspouts regularly.