Protect Yourself Against West Nile Virus

Fairfax County has reported a case of West Nile Virus (WNV). Find out how to protect yourself and your loved ones against this and other mosquito-borne illnesses.

Page updated on Aug 8, 2018 at 10:24 AM

MosquitoAs of August 2, 2018, Fairfax County has reported one confirmed case of West Nile Virus (WNV); this is the first known human case of WNV in Virginia this year. The patient is recovering in the hospital.

WNV is rare. People may be exposed to WNV when bitten by an infected mosquito. About 80% of people infected with WNV have no symptoms. Those who do may experience fever, headache, joint pain, vomiting, and rashes, among other symptoms. If you have symptoms, please contact your doctor.

For more information, visit West Nile Virus in Alexandria or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website

Protect Yourself Against Mosquito-Borne Diseases

You can take precautions to protect yourself and your loved ones against mosquito-borne diseases like West Nile.

        Remember the “Three S’s” of preventing exposure to mosquitos:

  • Spill ­­– Also known as “tip and toss,” this step is all about getting rid of standing water. Mosquitos can lay eggs in just a bottle cap full of water! For this reason, it is important to “spill” any containers that have collected water. Look out for water that has collected in and around your yard. Drain, fill in, or cover these areas to prevent mosquitos from accessing the water. 
  • ScreenPlace screens over containers you cannot empty, such as fountains or water catchment basins. This will prevent mosquitos from laying their eggs in these containers. Screen any doors, windows, or other openings to your home so that mosquitos cannot enter.
  • SprayUse repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or lemon eucalyptus oil. Especially if you are being bitten by mosquitos, or plan to spend time outdoors.  These repellants can be “sprayed” on skin and clothing. Wearing long sleeves and pants can also help protect you against mosquito bites.

For more information about mosquitos and preventing exposure, check out our Mosquito Control page.

Treatment for West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne diseases will depend on the individual case. Please contact your doctor if you have symptoms of a mosquito-borne illness.

If you have any questions about Alexandria Health Department’s mosquito control programs, or would like to report a mosquito infestation, please contact us at 703.746.4910.