Lynchburg, VA - If you felt like a mosquito magnet over the weekend, you weren't the only one. Health officials say now is the time to protect yourself against mosquitos. "Wear the Deet. Use the least concentration you can get by with. And still have the protection you can get by with," explained Steve Simpson, Environmental Health Manager of the Lynchburg Health Department. Deet is the main chemical in commercial bug sprays, but there are alternatives. Natural remedies include: citronella, peppermint, even lavender oils, which some say not only smell great, but may send the mosquitoes flying the other way. The Centers for Disease Control is also tracking a mosquito borne virus from the Caribbean-Chikungunya, similar to dengue fever. While it doesn't appear to be fatal, it can hit the elderly, newborn, and immune-compromised especially hard. The virus is now in the U.S. "West Nile and Chikungunya: these are viral diseases that are carried by mosquitoes. The mosquitoes that mostly carry these diseases will be out early in the mornings and in the twilight, so if you can stay inside during those times you're probably going to come up with less mosquito bites," Simpson said. Symptoms of Chikungunya include headache, joint pain, swelling, rash and are similar to Lyme disease. If you develop these symptoms, see your doctor.
WSET ABC 13 covers news, sports and weather in the Heart of Virginia: Lynchburg, Danville and Roanoke and nearby communities including Amherst, Lexington, Cave Springs, Blacksburg, Martinsville, Farmville, North Shore, Glasgow, Altavista, Gretna, Chatham, Blairs, Bassett, Rocky Mt, Penhook, Moneta and Buena Vista