#MosquitoMonday to serve as weekly reminder through summer months
Yesterday the Knox County Health Department (KCHD) restarted its public health campaign aimed at reducing mosquito-borne illnesses. During the summer-long #MosquitoMonday campaign, KCHD will post tips and advice for residents each Monday on its social media networks: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
“Our hope is that #MosquitoMonday will serve as a weekly reminder for residents to do what they can to prevent mosquito bites and reduce mosquito habitats around their homes and businesses,” said KCHD Director Dr. Martha Buchanan. “This campaign should also be a resource for residents to find up-to-date, easily sharable information about mosquito-borne illnesses, such as Zika and West Nile virus.”
To prevent mosquito habitats, residents and business owners are urged to discard or tip over items that can hold water once a week. Tennessee is home to many types of mosquitoes, including Aedes, which are capable of transmitting the Zika virus and several other diseases. At this time, mosquitoes in Tennessee are not transmitting Zika, which has been associated with birth defects. Mosquitoes here, however, are known carriers of other diseases seen each year in Tennessee, including West Nile virus and La Crosse encephalitis. They can also carry dengue fever, yellow fever and Chikungunya virus, although not currently in Tennessee.
Officials recommend the following:
- Apply repellants to skin often; these can include lotions, liquids or sprays. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the use of repellants that contain DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane 3, 8-diol and IR3535. The duration of protection varies by repellant; read labels on products to determine when reapplications are necessary for optimal protection.
- Wear long, loose and light-colored shirts and pants and wear socks.
- Treat clothing with permethrin or purchase pretreated clothing.
- Dispose of, regularly empty, or turn over any water-holding containers on your property such as tires, cans, flower pots, children’s toys or trash cans.
- Fill in hollow tree stumps and rot holes, a common breeding ground for the Aedes mosquito, with sand or concrete.
- To prevent breeding in large water-holding devices, including bird baths or garden pools, use larvicides such as mosquito torpedoes or mosquito dunks. If used properly, larvicides will not harm animals.
- Check the CDC’s travel webpage before traveling outside the U.S. because it’s important to be aware of the diseases impacting your destination(s), including those spread by mosquitoes, and take steps to prevent infection.