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With older housing stock in Orleans, residents urged to be wary of lead paint

Posted 30 October 2018 at 8:47 pm

By Mari Hamilton, Public Health Educator in Genesee and Orleans counties

Lead in gasoline and paint has been banned in the United States since the 1970s, yet lead exposure and poisoning is still a problem in too many households.

Did you know that today, exposure and poisoning from this toxic metal still affects millions of people? While lead is harmful for everyone, it is even more dangerous to children and can cause lifelong and life-threatening health problems.

In an effort to combat this ongoing problem, the last week in October is recognized as National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week.

Paul Pettit, Public Health Director of Genesee and Orleans Counties, wants to remind our community that knowledge is power.

“Lead poisoning can be prevented,” he said. “The key is to keep children from coming in contact with lead. Take time this week to learn about ways to reduce your child’s exposure to lead in their environment and prevent its serious health effects.”

Lead poisoning is caused by swallowing or breathing in lead dust. The most common sources of lead can be found in the soil, chipping paint, household dust, contaminated drinking water from old plumbing, lead-glazed pottery, some metal jewelry, and at some jobsites – typically construction, manufacturing and mining.

“Although the use of lead was banned from products such as paint since 1978, many homes in our communities still have remnants of old lead paint in them,” said Sarah Balduf, Environmental Health Director of Genesee and Orleans counties. “Old chipping paint, particularly around window sills, door frames, banisters, and porches, can cause a serious problem, especially in young children who tend to spend most of their time crawling or playing on the floor.”

Local data shows the majority of the homes in our communities were built before 1978, indicating lead may still be present even under fresh layers of paint. According to the 2016 American Community Survey 5-year Estimates there are approximately 25,657 total housing structures in Genesee County; 76.3% were built in 1979 or earlier with 39.6% built in 1939 or earlier. In Orleans County there are approximately 18,509 total housing structures; 76.2% were built in 1979 or earlier with 45.1% built in 1939 or earlier.

The chipping paint that Balduf described can produce a dust that is easily ingested by young children who often put their hands in their mouths. This is just one example of how lead can enter their bodies and harm their health by disrupting their growth and development, increasing behavioral problems, and lowering the child’s IQ. Many organs in the body are affected by lead, including the liver, kidneys, lungs, brain, spleen, muscles and heart.

There are typically no signs or symptoms to help you know if your child has lead poisoning. A person with lead poisoning usually does not look or feel sick. The best way to find out if your child has lead poisoning is by testing. The most common test is a quick blood test. It measures how much lead is in the bloodstream.

According to the New York State Department of Health, it is required that children are tested for lead at age 1 and again at age 2. Children will continue to be monitored for lead at well-child visits until they reach age 6. Pediatricians will explain what the child’s blood level means and if their levels are within a healthy range. Pregnant women should also be tested as they can pass lead to their unborn baby. High levels of lead during pregnancy can cause miscarriage and stillbirth. Other pregnancy problems may include low birth weight, poor growth and premature delivery.

Lead testing rates in Genesee County from 2016 reveal that 56.8% of children were being tested for lead at age one and 54.2% of children were being tested for lead at age 2. Lead testing rates in Orleans County from 2017 reveal that 57.9% of children were being tested for lead at age one and 51.9% of children were being tested for lead at age 2.

National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week increases awareness for a year-round problem. Educating yourself about the dangers of lead poisoning and ways to lessen lead exposure will benefit the health and wellbeing of your family. Take action today by reviewing these simple steps to reduce lead exposure in your home.

• Keep a clean and dust free home.

• Use a damp cloth and a damp mop to reduce the spread of dust.

• Teach good handwashing habits.

• Consume a diet with foods that are rich in nutrients such as calcium, iron, and vitamin C.

• Good nutrition and regular meals can help prevent lead poisoning since there are many good nutrients being absorbed in the body. An empty stomach has the ability to absorb more lead and store it in the bones. Supporting strong bones and a healthy body will help minimize the amount of lead absorbed in the body.

• Be mindful to not bring lead home on clothes from jobsites or working on hobbies.

• Let cold water run for 1 minute before drinking it, especially if it has not been used for a few hours.

• Fix and repair peeling paint safely. Contact your local health department for more information on how to do so.

Take time to talk with your doctor or health department staff to learn more about your risk of lead poisoning or visit the New York State Health Department by clicking here.

For information about Health Department services in Orleans County, call (585) 589-3278 or click here for the website.

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Orleans Recovery Hope provides a missing piece for recovering addicts

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Recovery coaches and advocates for Orleans Recovery Hope are shown at a benefit for the organization Saturday at the VFW in Medina. From left are Stephanie Higgs, Kathy Hodgins, Kim Lockwood, Tiffany Neroni, Mike Schroeder, Don Snyder and Wayne Litchfield.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 30 October 2018 at 9:09 am

12 have been trained as recovery coaches

Peer recovery coach Keith Greer chats with Tammy Ashton, Kim Lockwood and Tiffany Neroni, board members of Orleans Recovery Hope, during a fundraiser Saturday at the VFW in Medina.

MEDINA – There has always been a missing piece in the treatment of recovering drug addicts, said Orleans County Sheriff Randy Bower.

Now, Bower thinks the county has found the answer.

Bower attended a fundraiser Saturday afternoon at the VFW in Medina for Orleans Recovery Hope, a peer organization which grew out of a group founded a year ago to work with recovering addicts.

“Often when an addict leaves the jail bed he goes to a rehab bed, but when he gets out of rehab, too many times he’s right back in the jail bed,” Bower said. “There was always a missing piece. Orleans Recovery Hope is that missing piece.”

Orleans Recovery Hope started with Kim Lockwood and several of her friends who had heard too many times about their friends losing loved ones to drug overdoses.

In 2017, they said, “This has to stop.”

Wayne Litchfield, retired dispatcher for the Orleans County Sheriff’s Department; Don Snyder, jail chaplain; and Tami Ashton, who lost her daughter to a drug overdose, had been meeting regularly at Dunkin’ Donuts to discuss what could be done about the opioid crisis in Orleans County. They learned Lockwood and her friends were having the same discussions.

They joined forces, and a year ago, they organized the first meeting of Orleans Hope at the former high school on Catherine Street in Medina. The community and law enforcement turned out in a big way.

Now 12 people have been trained as recovery coaches and the organization renamed Orleans Recovery Hope has become a 501c4.

Saturday’s fundraiser, organized by Lockwood, was to raise money to train more recovery coaches, to create programs to reach and help those fighting drugs, and to end the stigma and get the community talking about what’s going on with the opioid crisis.

“We want to do more community awareness events because people must begin to talk about this,” Lockwood said.

Douglas and Kristine Ames of Medina wear T-shirts with pictures of their daughter Erin, who died at age 32 of a drug overdose. The Ames are raising their two granddaughters, Callie, 4, left, and Keirra, 7. The family poses with a toy box Douglas made and donated for a raffle Saturday at the Medina VFW to benefit Orleans Recovery Hope.

Lockwood had a hard time fighting back tears as she viewed the people in the room wearing pictures on their T-shirts of a loved one lost to drugs, and of the array of baskets donated to support the event.

Two of those parents were Douglas and Kristine Ames of Medina, who lost their daughter Erin, 32, on June 2, 2017. The Ames are raising granddaughters Keirra, 7, and Callie, 4. Douglas made a wooden toy box and donated it for the raffle in memory of Erin.

Bower has been fighting the drug crisis even before he became Sheriff. He praised the efforts of those involved with Orleans Recovery Hope and talked about his program “Sheriff Cares,” which stands for Community Addiction Rehabilitation Education. It is his goal to be able to identify drug users and get them the help they need.

Orleans County Sheriff Randy Bower shakes hands with Keith Greer, a peer recovery coach from Rochester.

“As the result of the energy of these guys who picked up the ball and ran with it, you can see how Orleans Recovery Hope is succeeding,” he said.

A special speaker at the afternoon event was Keith Greer, a peer recovery coach in Rochester and half of a team who trains recovery coaches there. He praised the efforts of Orleans Recovery Hope and said organizations like this are the answer to combating drug addiction.

“We can’t wait for government to come and fix the problem,” he said. “It’s not going to happen.”

Peer recovery coaches are relatively new, having only been around in Rochester for three years. It takes someone who has had some form of involvement with drugs – either personally, a friend or loved one – to become a peer coach, Greer said.

“You combine their experience with the passionate skills they already have, and you have created a lane in the middle for people dealing with addiction,” he said.

Greer said their goal is to get recovery coaches into emergency rooms.

“Drug addiction is the only disease where a person can show up with symptoms and be sent home,” he said.

There are multiple paths to recovery and a recovery coach is trained to look for the right path for each person.

Tiffany Neroni acknowledged The Hilltop Restaurant in Lockport for their support of Orleans Recovery Hope.

The Hilltop’s owner Tony Conrad prepared snacks for the event and wants to establish a scholarship for someone in recovery who wants to further their education. He lost a brother-in-law to a drug overdose.

Money raised by Orleans Recovery Hope has also paid for rack cards which Lockwood said they have distributed throughout the county.

“This is how change is going to happen in our community and every community,” Greer concluded.

These individuals who came forward during a fundraiser Saturday at the VFW in Medina for Orleans Recovery Hope are all wearing T-shirts of their loved one lost to a drug overdose. At right is Don Snyder, jail chaplain who is president of the board of Orleans Recovery Hope.

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3 sites in Orleans will collect unused prescription drugs on Saturday

Posted 24 October 2018 at 10:14 pm

Press Release, Orleans County Sheriff Randy Bower

The Orleans County Sheriff’s Office will once again participate in the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Initiative this Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

This is a collaborative effort with the U.S. Department of Justice – Drug Enforcement Administration, the Orleans County Health Department and the Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism & Substance Abuse (GCASA).

This is a great opportunity for the public to surrender unwanted and/or expired medications for safe and proper disposal. Events such as these have dramatically reduced the risk of prescription drug diversion and abuse, as well as increasing awareness of this critical public health issue. The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Initiative has been very successful and has resulted in 4,800 pounds of unused medications being collected from the residents of Orleans County who have participated in this program.

The following are collection points:

• Orleans County Public Safety Building – 13925 State Route 31, Albion

• Holley Fire Department – 7 Thomas Street, Holley

• Medina Fire Department – 600 Main Street,  Medina

Special thanks to the Holley and Medina FDs for providing space within their facilities for this event.

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Local Rotary Clubs have helped in worldwide fight against polio

Photo from Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority: The Peace Bridge will be lit in purple this evening to honor Rotary’s long fight to eradicate Polio worldwide. After people are vaccinated in developing countries, their pinkie is dipped in purple to show that it was done.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 24 October 2018 at 11:19 am

Editorial

Local service clubs take great pride in helping to boost their local communities, by helping put on festivals and many other family-friendly events. The local service clubs also raise money and give the bulk of that to local efforts, often supporting youth sports teams, families in crisis from an unexpected medical challenge, or they take the lead with a public arts project, just to name a few.

However, many of the service clubs are part of world-wide organizations, such as Rotary International or Lions Clubs International, and some of the annual dues and other fundraisers go to support humanitarian efforts around the globe.

Orleans County has three Rotary Clubs, and today Rotary International is celebrating  World Polio Day, which recognizes a 30-plus year effort by Rotary to eradicate polio. Rotary has spent $1.8 billion bringing the vaccine to 2.5 billion children in 122 countries around the world and is nearly complete in its fight. This year, there have been 16 new polio cases identified in Afghanistan and four in Pakistan.

When people in developing countries receive the vaccine, they dip their pinkies in purple to show they have been immunized.

Today at 7 p.m. the Peace Bridge will be lit up in purple to signify the success of Rotary’s polio campaign. The bridge over the Niagara River connects Buffalo to Fort Erie, Canada.

Rotarians in Albion, Holley and Medina can feel a sense of pride for helping in this effort. Polio, about two generations ago, was a scourge in the United States, often resulting in paralysis and death. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the former president, was diagnosed with polio when he was 39 and was paralyzed from the waist down.

Today it is worth taking a moment to reflect on the power of service organizations and the good they do when they unite in a common cause around the world. Rotary, the Lions Clubs and others are able to transcend politics, national boundaries, religious differences and other obstacles that can get in the way of important humanitarian work.

For more on World Polio Day, click here.

(Editor’s Note: Orleans Hub publisher Karen Sawicz and Hub editor Tom Rivers are both members of the Albion Rotary Club.)

Teal Pumpkins signify non-food treats for kids with allergies

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 October 2018 at 7:46 pm

Photo courtesy of Georgia Thomas

MEDINA – Georgia Thomas of Medina has a row of pumpkins on her porch in medina, including a teal pumpkin to signify she has treats available for kids with allergies.

The Teal Pumpkin Project started in 2012 as a nationwide effort to encourage people to also give out non-food treats on Halloween, which is next Wednesday, Oct. 31.

Food Allergy Research & Education, a non-profit advocacy group, took up the cause and first promoted the non-food treats in 2014.

The group says there are many treat options for people to give to children with food allergies:

• Glow sticks, bracelets, or necklaces; pencils, pens, crayons or markers; bubbles;

• Halloween erasers or pencil toppers; Mini Slinkies; whistles, kazoos, or noisemakers;

• Bouncy balls; finger puppets or novelty toys; coins; spider rings; vampire fangs; mini notepads; playing cards; bookmarks; stickers and stencils.

Food Allergy Research & Education would like to have a home on every block with a teal pumpkin and offer non-food treats.

For more on the Teal Pumpkin Project, click here.

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‘Treasure Island’ returns to Medina as big fundraiser for hospital

Photos by Ginny Kropf: The committee planning Orleans Community Health’s annual Treasure Island on Nov. 3 show some of the items which have been donated for the auction. From left are Dawn Meland, Cindy Hewitt, Tammy Pritchard, Teressa Taylor, Lori Condo and Foundation director Angela DiRosa.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 16 October 2018 at 11:08 am

MEDINA – This year’s Treasure Island Nov. 3 to benefit Orleans Community Health will mark a milestone for the event.

This will be the 25th year for the fundraiser, which was started in 1993 by the Association of Twigs. After several successful years, Medina Memorial Hospital Foundation took it over and continued to expand its features.

Orleans Community Health’s Foundation director Angela DiRosa holds one of the paintings which have been donated for the hospital’s annual Treasure Island.

Dawn Meland and Cindy Hewitt were both Twig members when the first one took place. They continue to be part of its planning today.

Treasure Island has had a theme during different years, and this year’s is “No Passport Required,” building on an around-the-world theme, Meland said.

“In the past, we’ve done a Masquerade theme and a gala,” she said.

The event didn’t take on the name Treasure Island until after the Muppets movie came out in 1996.

“We used Treasure Island for the theme that year, and it just stuck,” Meland said.

The event has taken place at several venues during recent years, but this year is moving back to Sacred Heart Club, after being at Hickory Ridge Country Club in Murray.

“We want to bring it back to Medina,” Hewitt said.

There will still be a silent and live auction, raffles and the popular Lucky Cork feature. Donna Eick will cater the food with her signature dishes – real comfort food with unique side dishes, Meland said.

Treasure Island continues to be the hospital Foundation’s premier fundraiser, said Foundation director Angela DiRosa.

The hundreds of prizes donated generate an average profit of $35,000, which is used for equipment updates and upgrades around the hospital.

Tammy Pritchard, who is secretary in CEO’s Mark Cye’s office, said he has a number of grants in the works and the money raised this year will supplement his projects, all of which will definitely benefit patients.

Doors will open at 5 p.m. Tickets include a meal and commemorative wine glass. Tickets may be purchased by contacting Orleans Community Health Foundation at foundation@medinamemorial.org, charityauction.bid/supportOCH  or calling (585) 798-8061.

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Governor urges people to get flu vaccination

Posted 16 October 2018 at 8:05 am

23,377 were hospitalized with flu-related illnesses last flu season

Press Release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo is reminding all New Yorkers to get a flu shot during the upcoming flu season, which generally begins in October and runs through May.

During last year’s flu season, there were 23,377 flu-related hospitalizations and 6 pediatric deaths in New York. Over the last four years, there have been a total of 25 pediatric flu deaths in New York State.

“Getting a flu shot still remains the best way to stay healthy during this season,” Governor Cuomo said. “It is critical for all New Yorkers, especially older adults, young children and pregnant women, to get vaccinated as soon as possible and to take other necessary precautions to prevent the spread of the virus in New York.”

In January 2018, Governor Cuomo signed an emergency executive order allowing pharmacists to administer flu vaccines to children ages 2 to 18 during the 2018 flu season. Following the signing of the emergency executive order, pharmacists vaccinated approximately 9,000 individuals ages 2 to 18 against the flu. Subsequently, the governor passed legislation codifying this order into law. Cuomo urges New Yorkers to take advantage of the expanded access and get vaccinated.

A statewide public service advertising campaign launched this week to further remind New Yorkers to get vaccinated. The Department of Health, Office of Children and Family Services, State Office for the Aging and State Education Department will coordinate efforts to target educational materials to those most at risk, including children, pregnant woman and older adults. Additionally, the State Department of Health is providing access to flu educational materials that can be printed and posted to help raise awareness.

The Office of Children and Family Services makes education materials available to all State-licensed child care providers and all State-funded after-school providers about the importance of the flu vaccine. As required by law, all schools and child care programs must have information about the vaccination clearly posted.

To receive a flu shot, people should contact their local health care provider or pharmacy, or find information about vaccination clinics by contacting their local health department.

The flu can cause severe illness. Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue.

Some people may also have vomiting and diarrhea. People infected with the flu may have respiratory symptoms without a fever. CDC recommends that people who are very sick or people who are sick and at high risk of serious flu complications be treated early with flu antiviral drugs. Antiviral drugs work best when started within two days of symptoms first appearing. There are currently no shortages of antiviral drugs, and manufacturers report they expect to meet projected seasonal demands.

“Prevention remains the most effective method to stop the spread of the flu,” said Dr. Howard Zucker, NYS Department of Health commissioner. “Even people who are healthy, if unvaccinated, can easily spread the flu virus to family members, friends or co-workers.”

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59 get shots at ‘Boo to the Flu!’

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 October 2018 at 1:14 pm

Photos courtesy of Orleans Community Health

ALBION – Orleans Community Health held a flu shot clinic on Oct. 8 at the Albion healthcare center at the corner of Route 31 and Butts Road. There were 59 children vaccinated. These four are pictured with Jessica Downey, a health educator with Community Partners at Orleans Community Health.

Orleans Community Health teamed with the Albion Rotary Club for the clinic – “Say Boo to the Flu!”

The Rotary Club donated to Leon’s Fund, which was established as a non-profit organization in memory of Leon Sidari (pictured above), who was 4 ½ when he died on Christmas 2017, two days after getting the flu. Leon is the son of Albion natives Laura (Lyman) Sidari and Tony Sidari. They are both medical doctors who were based in San Antonio for six years before recently moving to Dayton, Ohio.

Leon is the grandson of Nathan Lyman, a long-time Albion Rotarian who now lives in Ithaca.

This youngster was one of the 59 to be vaccinated.

Orleans Community Health is planning more outreach and education events about the importance of getting flu shots.

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Rotary collects personal care items, clothes for sexual assault victims

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 October 2018 at 10:07 am

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Members of the Albion Interact Club joined the Albion Rotary Club on Thursday in filling about 100 bags with personal care items. These Interact members include, from left, Susan He, Trinity Allen and Avalina Hand.

They joined Rotarians in filling the bags that are going to Medina Memorial Hospital. The Rotary Club also will be giving new shirts, sweatpants and underwear for the hospital to give to sexual assault victims. Those victims often have their clothing taken to be used as evidence.

The hospital sees about 50 sexual assault victims – females and males – each year at the emergency room.

Sometimes the hospital has to give them gowns or surgical scrubs because there aren’t other clothes available.

Cindy Perry and Jessica Downey from Community Partners at Orleans Community Health will deliver the personal care items to the hospital. Pictured, from left, include: Cindy Perry, director of outreach, education and marketing at Community Partners; Michael Bonnewell, Albion Central School superintendent and a Rotarian; Jessica Downey, health educator with Community Partners; and Trinity Allen, Avalina Hand and Susan He, members of the school’s Interact Club, which is sponsored by the Rotary Club.

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West Nile Virus has been detected in both Genesee and Orleans counties

Posted 5 October 2018 at 3:56 pm

Residents urged to take precautions against virus spread by mosquitos

By Nola Goodrich-Kresse, Public Health Educator and Public Information Officer for Genesee and Orleans Health Departments

Mosquitoes are usually considered a nuisance pest, but occasionally they can transmit viruses to people and some animals. In New York State, mosquitoes have been found to transmit Eastern Equine Encephalitis and the West Nile virus. Such viruses can cause serious illness and even death. While your chances of being infected with a disease through a mosquito bite are very small, there are measures you can take to reduce your risk of being bitten. This year WNV has been detected in both Genesee and Orleans counties.

Specifically, per the NYS Department of Health Statewide Mosquito-Borne Disease Activity Report an equine (horse or related animal), bird and human case have tested positive in Genesee County and an equine case in Orleans County.

West Nile Virus Disease is spread by the bite of a mosquito infected with the virus. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on infected birds. The infected mosquitoes can then spread the virus to humans and other animals, such as horses. Vaccine is available to reduce the risk of horses contracting the virus. Unfortunately there is no vaccine for humans, taking the proper preventative actions to avoid getting bit are our best options.

In New York State, cases of WNV occur during mosquito season, which begins in the summer and continues throughout fall. Most mosquitoes are active between dusk and dawn when the air is calm. Sarah Balduf, Environmental Health Director of Genesee and Orleans counties, states that not all mosquitoes are able to transmit the virus.

“While there are about 70 different species of mosquitoes in the State, only certain species have been associated with WNV,” she said.

WNV is not spread through coughing, sneezing, touching live animals, or handling live or dead infected birds. It is strongly advised to avoid bare-handed contact when handling any dead animal. If you are disposing of a dead bird, use gloves or double plastic bags to place the carcass (body) in a garbage can.

Symptoms of WNV vary from person to person. Brenden Bedard, Director of Community Health Services of Genesee and Orleans counties, explains that only a small percentage of people infected with the disease will show symptoms.

“Most people infected, 70-80 percent, with WNV do not develop any symptoms,” he said. “It is estimated that 20 percent of the people who become infected will develop less severe symptoms including headache and body aches, nausea, fever, and occasionally a skin rash and swollen lymph glands. Symptoms of severe infections include (West Nile encephalitis or meningitis) can include headache, high fever, neck stiffness, muscle weakness, stupor, disorientation, tremors, seizures, paralysis, coma, and in some cases death.”

Symptoms of WNV usually appear within 3 to 14 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Health care providers diagnose WNV based on the patient’s clinical symptoms and laboratory diagnosis by testing blood or spinal fluids, which will show if the virus or antibodies against the virus are present in the person. Although there is no specific treatment for WNV, health care providers will usually attempt to relieve the symptoms of the illness. In severe cases, patients may need to be hospitalized and closely monitored.

When infected adult mosquitoes are spreading a virus to people, acting quickly can stop further spread and prevent more people from getting sick. By using multiple mosquito control methods at the same time, people and communities can help stop the spread of disease. The New York State Department of Health recommends the following:

• Cover your skin as completely as possible. Wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt when outdoors for long periods or when mosquitoes are more active.

• Use mosquito repellent, which should always be applied according to label directions. Do not let children apply mosquito repellent on himself or herself, and do not apply to the hands of small children.

• Apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus (the label may say citriodiol or p-menthane 3,8 -diol). Oil of lemon eucalyptus products should not be used on children under 3 years of age. Products containing permethrin kill insects that come in contact with treated clothing, and are for use on clothing only, not skin.

• Use as little repellent as you need, and avoid unnecessary repeat applications. Do not overspray. Apply repellent outdoors.

• Do not apply near eyes, nose or mouth and use sparingly around ears.

• After returning indoors, wash treated skin with soap and water.

• Cover baby carriers with mosquito netting when outside.

• Close doors and make sure open windows have screens on them.

• Limit use of perfumes and scents that would attract mosquitoes.

Mosquitoes lay their eggs in or near water, and their offspring “grow up” in water before emerging as adults that fly and bite. Therefore, mosquitoes can be controlled by controlling water. Many types of mosquitoes, including those that can transmit disease, lay their eggs in even small amounts of standing water around the home such as flowerpots, birdbaths and discarded tires. To reduce the mosquito population in and around your home, reduce or eliminate all standing water by following these steps:

• Dispose of tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or similar water-holding containers.

• Remove all discarded tires on your property. Check with your local landfill or public works authorities to find out how to dispose of them properly.

• Remove all fallen leaves.

• Drill holes in the bottoms of recycling containers that are kept outdoors.

• Clean clogged gutters in the spring and fall. Make sure roof gutters drain properly.

• Turn over plastic wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use. Make sure outside toys and play areas are clear of standing water.

• Change the water in birdbaths at least 2 times a week. Clean plants and debris from the edge of ponds.

• Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, outdoor saunas and hot tubs. Drain water from pool covers. Use landscaping to eliminate standing water that collects on your property.

For more information on the West Nile Virus, click here.

For more information on mosquitoes and diseases, click here.

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