For Immediate Release:
July 25, 2014
If outdoors, wear insect repellant
Whether at home or traveling, always protect yourself
FREEHOLD, NJ – It is often easy to forget to put on insect repellant, but the Monmouth County Mosquito Extermination Commission is reminding residents to avoid itchy mosquito bites and possible disease by always using insect repellant at home and when traveling.
“Whenever you go outdoors, even if it is only for a few minutes, you should protect yourself from mosquitoes and the diseases they can carry,” said Freeholder Serena DiMaso, liaison to the Commission. “Even though all mosquitoes can carry diseases, residents should be on the lookout for the Asian Tiger mosquito.”
The Asian tiger mosquito, or ATM, is a medium-sized black and white mosquito that feeds during the day and primarily on people. It was first discovered in Monmouth County in 1995 and has since spread throughout our communities and greatly increased in numbers. It is extremely aggressive and a known carrier of several diseases including West Nile Virus, Chikungunya and Dengue Fever.
According the Center for Disease Research and Policy, a staggering 355,000 people in the Caribbean, Central America and South America have, or are suspected to have become infected and 357 imported cases of Chikungunya have been identified in the United States.
“This disease is on the move and residents who travel to places where Chikungunya and Dengue are found can bring them back home,” said DiMaso. “If they're bitten by a mosquito here the disease can then be passed on to every person that the mosquito bites.”
There are no cures for Chikungunya and Dengue Fever and still no vaccines and it is critical to protect yourself from mosquito bites both at home and while traveling abroad.
“If you are diagnosed with, or suspected to be infected by Chikungunya or Dengue, you should also avoid being bitten by other mosquitoes to prevent passing the infection on to someone else,” said DiMaso.
For more information on mosquito-borne diseases and home mosquito control methods, visit the Monmouth County Mosquito Extermination Commission webpage at www.visitmonmouth.com.
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