Take precautions to avoid infections that can be caused by bug bites. Avoid going out during peak mosquito feeding periods and use insect repellents that contain DEET. These precautions can help prevent illnesses spread by mosquitoes such as Zika, West Nile, Dengue, and others. Make sure to use bugspray if you will be out during a time when mosquitos and other bugs are out. Wear long pants and shirts if you plan to go hiking, especially in wooded areas that may have dense areas of ticks that may infect you with Lyme disease. Remember, you are more susceptible now that you are a post-transplant patient due to your immunosuppression medications and extra precautions are necessary to keeping yourself healthy.
West Nile Virus and Transplant Recipients
WNV causes a potentially serious illness that affects the central nervous system. People with a transplant are at higher risk for developing serious outcomes of the disease, including:
Meningitis (inflammation of protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord).
Encephalitis (inflammation of the brain).
Symptoms of West Nile Virus include:
Stupor and disorientation
Paralysis or numbness
Transmission is through bite of an infected mosquito. There is no treatment or vaccine for WNV at this time, thus the only way to protect yourself is through preventative measures:
Look for repellants with EPA (environmental protective agency) active ingredients: this include bug sprays that contain DEET.
Permethrin is registered for use on clothing, shoes, bed nets, and camping gear- not directly on skin.
Weak clothing that can help reduce mosquito bites: Long sleeves, long pants, socks whenever outdoors and spray clothes with repellant for extra protection.
Avoid peak mosquito hours- dusk until dawn are peak mosquito biting times.
Empty water from buckets, cans, pool covers, flower pots, pet water dishes, birdbaths, and other items daily because mosquitos lay eggs in standing water.