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Insect-related illnesses are trending up

The Free Press WV

Summertime is a time to sit back, unwind, and explore for many throughout the Mountain State.

It is also a time for a variety of insects, whether they are ticks, fleas, or mosquitoes, to pester the explorers.

United Hospital Center Infection Prevention Specialist Beth Bond told “The Gary Bowden Show” on WAJR-Clarksburg that awareness of insect-borne illness is increasing, but so is the spread of disease.

“It’s more than tripled between 2004 and 2016 from diseases that are carried by vector-borne creatures,” Bond said last month.

That includes West Nile Virus, found as recently as Thursday in both Illinois and Wisconsin, and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever — a tick-prevalent illness.

Bond said certain age groups are more susceptible to diseases than others, but suggested everyone take precautions against these insects. One such precaution, particularly for ticks, is keeping residential areas tidy.

“Make sure that you keep your yard mowed, cleaned up, no brush, leaves,” she said. “You don’t wan’t to give ticks a place to hide.”

Bond is adamant in speaking about ways to prevent mosquiteos and fleas from running amok while enjoying outdoor time. While mentioning that fleas are more worrisome for your pets, she stated that humans would definitely need to take the normal preventative measures to avoid being harassed by one of summer’s biggest pests. Normally expected in areas of water, Bond said mosquitoes have several habitats.

“If you’re going to be in a wooded area, brushy area, use the spray, the insecticide that have deet or permethrin,” she said.

Permethrin was recommended to be used on clothes and shoes if you’re walking around in heavy mosquito areas. As an insecticide, it’s very close to near fatal for any insects that touches material covered by the substance.

“(Insects) are not discriminatory,” Bond said. “I think wherever the environment is, you can have that be it trees, grass, they’re very happy to go wherever their environment will allow them.”

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