The mosquitos are out! Here are 5 tips to not get bitten

(Jackson, Wyo.) - According to the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH), while Zika virus is highly unlikely to take hold within or near Wyoming, West Nile virus (WNV) is a potential threat for state residents during the summer months. Zika virus is spread to people mostly through bites of certain types of infected mosquitos that do not live in Wyoming due to the state’s climate. Other types of mosquitos that do live in the state spread West Nile virus when they feed on infected birds and then bite people, animals and other birds. Here are the “5 D’s” of WNV prevention: *1) DAWN* and *2) DUSK:* Mosquitos that spread WNV prefer to feed at dawn or dusk, so avoid spending time outside during these times. *3) DRESS:* Wear shoes, socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt outdoors. Clothing should be light-colored and made of tightly woven materials. *4) DRAIN:* Mosquitos breed in shallow, stagnant water. Reduce the amount of standing water by draining and/or removing. *5) DEET* - Use an insect repellent containing DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide). When using DEET, be sure to read and follow label instructions. Other insect repellents such as Picaridin (KBR 3023) or oil of lemon eucalyptus can also be effective. Among those who become ill with WNV, symptoms include fever, headache, body aches, skin rash and swollen lymph nodes. A very small number develop West Nile neuroinvasive disease with symptoms such as severe headache, fever, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions and paralysis. “Avoiding mosquito bites is key with either disease,” Bryan said. “With Zika virus we are talking mostly about travel precautions for Wyoming residents. With West Nile virus, there are active steps we should all take.” Since WNV first appeared in Wyoming in 2002, reported human cases each year have ranged from two with no deaths to 393 and nine deaths. To date, Zika virus has not been confirmed in any Wyoming resident. *Feature Photo: Culex mosquito sucking blood. h/t mrfiza / shutterstock /