Environment
12:49 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

Milwaukee Hunting Mosquitos

The Milwaukee Health Department has applied more than 2,200 doses of mosquito larvicide to catch basins across the city, to help prevent West Nile virus.

In 2012, Wisconsin recorded its highest number of West Nile cases in 10 years - 57 diagnoses. Five people died, including one person in the City of Milwaukee.

So far this year, the city has no confirmed cases, while the state has just one.

Mosquito bites can transmit the virus to humans. Those infected can experience fever, rash, headache and joint pain. People over age 60 and those with underlying medical conditions, such as diabetes, are most susceptible to becoming seriously ill.

Health Commissioner Bevan Baker says the city places larvicide in sewer catch basins because they often serve as mosquito breeding grounds. Workers also set mosquito traps, in order to test them for the virus.

The agency's "Fight the Bite" campaign is also educating people at senior centers and youth camps. Among its advice:

- Mosquito-proof your home by fixing holes in screens, windows, and doors

- Wear light-colored, loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirts and pants at dawn and dusk (when mosquitos are most active)

- Prevent mosquito breeding by removing stagnant water from bird baths, flowerpots and gutters

- Use an insect repellant with DEET, IR 3535, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus.