WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- The West Nile Virus has been identified for the first time this summer in Washington, DC Department of Health (DOH) officials said in a news release.
"Residents should take caution as mosquitoes have the potential to transmit West Nile Virus to humans, and it is important for residents to take the necessary steps to avoid contracting the virus," DOH officials said.
Senior citizens and people with weak immune systems are considered high risk for suffering the worst from the disease, officials said.
"People with a higher risk of infection should wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and apply insect repellent with DEET or other mosquito repellents to exposed skin according to manufacturer's directions. For children, use a product with DEET concentration of less than 30%," officials said in a news release.
DOH officials also offered this advice to avoid creating a "mosquito haven" near your home:
The majority of mosquito prevention begins with the resident. Residents should follow the below tips in order to assist in the eradication of mosquitoes in and around their neighborhoods.
Tips Residents Can Use to Reduce Mosquitoes in Their Area:
1. Dispose of cans, bottles and open containers properly. Store items for recycling in covered containers.
2. Remove discarded tires. Drill drainage holes in tires used on playground equipment.
3. Clean roof gutters and downspouts regularly. Eliminate standing water from flat roofs.
4. Turn over plastic wading pools, wheelbarrows, and canoes when not in use.
5. Cover waste containers with tight-fitting lids; never allow lids or cans to accumulate water.
6. Flush bird baths and potted plant trays twice each week.
7. Adjust tarps over grills, firewood piles, boats or swimming pools to eliminate small pockets of water from standing several days.
8. Re-grade low areas where water stands; clean debris in ditches to eliminate standing water in low spots.
9. Maintain swimming pools, clean and chlorinate them as needed, aerate garden ponds and treat with "mosquito dunks" found at hardware stores.
10. Fix dripping water faucets outside and eliminate puddles from air conditioners.
11. Store pet food and water bowls inside when not in use.
For more information about this topic, please visit doh.dc.gov; www.cdc.gov, or call the WNV Call Center at 202-535-2323.