5 tips to prevent mosquito bites and getting sick from viruses
The most effective way to avoid getting sick from viruses spread by mosquitoes when at home and during travel is to prevent mosquito bites.
Mosquito bites can spread viruses that make you sick or, in rare cases, cause death, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Here are some tips from the CDC to help you prevent mosquito bites and getting sick from viruses:
1. Use insect repellent
When used as directed, insect repellents are proven safe and effective, even for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Use an EPA-registered insect repellent with one of the following active ingredients: DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE), Para-menthane-diol (PMD), 2-undecanone.
2. Cover up
Cover up by wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
3. Keep mosquitoes outside
Use air conditioning, or window and door screens. If you are not able to protect yourself from mosquitoes inside your home or hotel, sleep under a mosquito bed net.
4. Planning a trip?
Don't forget insect repellent.
And learn about destination-specific health risks and recommendations by visiting CDC Travelers’ Health website.
For most viruses spread by mosquitoes, there are no vaccines or medicines available. However, vaccines are available for viruses like Japanese encephalitis and yellow fever. Travelers to areas with risk of those viruses should get vaccinated.
MORE: If you find a tick attached to your skin, do you know how to remove it? Here are 6 steps from the CDC.
5. Mosquito-borne viruses in the continental U.S.
West Nile virus is the most common virus spread by mosquitoes in the continental United States. Click here to learn more about mosquito-borne viruses in the U.S. and U.S. territories.