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WEST NILE IN TEXAS: KIDS’ MOSQUITO PROTECTION TIPS FROM THE AAP

The Houston Chronicle, citing local infectious disease experts,  reported August 13th that the Houston area is likely to experience an increase in exposure to the potentially serious West Nile virus from mosquitos carrying this agent.  As many people know, there has recently appeared a rather significant epidemic in Dallas and other north Texas counties.  While there currently no expectation that Houston will experience an epidemic of that degree of seriousness, the monitoring of the number of infected mosquito samples and dead birds, is warning enough that some increase in West Nile is likely in the Houston area.  As the Chronicle points out, one in five people who becoming infected actually become ill, and only 1% develop a severe presentation, but the potential for even a small epidemic should prompt parents to pay special attention to mosquito bite prevention in the children (and in themselves).

The following is link to the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics in prudent measures to decrease the likelihood of bites from mosquitoes, whether potentially dangerous or simply annoying.  These are simple measures, and, especially now, worth reviewing and implementing;http://www.healthychildren.org/English/safety-prevention/at-play/Pages/Insect-Repellents.aspx.  It is particularly worth noting that there seems to be  a lingering but unnecessary  concern about the use of DEET-containing product  from some years ago, and that up to 30% is considered safe in children and infants after the first  few months of age according to AAP recommendations.  This is the most effective agent, and this effectiveness is especially important with West Nile a concern.