Tips for avoiding mosquito-borne illnesses like West Nile, Zika

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State health officials are urging Hoosiers to protect themselves from mosquito bites and mosquito-borne diseases.

The most common mosquito-borne illness identified in Indiana is the West Nile virus, but the state has already confirmed six cases of Zika in residents this year due to international travel.

Here are some steps you can take to protect yourself.

Health officials say you should avoid outdoor activity at times and places where mosquitoes are biting.

Wear a long-sleeve shirt, long pants and socks when outdoors.

Apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus to exposed skin.

Also, take steps to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds outside your home. You can do this by installing or repairing window screens and removing containers where water can be collected.

Get more tips from the following guides, courtesy of the Indiana State Department of Health:

Controlling Mosquitoes, Mosquito Bite Prevention, and Septic Tank Mosquito Control.

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