(NaturalNews) Mosquitoes are on the rise this summer, and several cases of West Nile virus infections from mosquitoes have been reported in Texas along with a few deaths. Other states have reported cases of West Nile virus infections as well.
After first appearing in the U.S. in New York in 1999, the virus spread throughout the nation. The worst of West Nile infections occurred during 2002 and 2003. Then severe illness reactions occurred to almost 3,000 with over 260 deaths in the USA.
Last year was a slow year for West Nile, as fewer than 700 cases were reported. But the CDC has announced that the disease is off to an early start this year. Some experts are citing heavy rainfall, especially in normally dry areas, that could create a situation similar to 2002 and 2003.
The viral infection can be transmitted from mosquitoes who feed off the blood of infected birds that act as vectors for the virus. Mosquitoes feeding off birds can suck the virus to infect humans and mammals before the birds die.
The good news is that humans and animals don't transmit the disease to other humans and animals. Other good news is that 80 percent of humans who get infected don't even show symptoms.
Those who do show symptoms usually manifest within the range of a bad case of the flu, except for the unlucky one out of 150 cases that get severe symptoms including paralysis, permanent neurological damage, or even death.
It's generally recognized that the best remedy is to prevent mosquito bites.
The conventional toxic drug endorsement is for insect repellents containing DEET. They advise a 20 to 30 percent level of DEET to avoid adverse reactions. But any amount of DEET is hazardous to the neurological system. Even if you don't keel over dead, you may be harmed.
Fortunately, there are some good, natural alternatives:
Neem oil was researched by scientists at the Malaria Institute in India. They concluded that Neem oil was superior to repellents containing DEET, and their findings were confirmed by the Journal of the Mosquito Control Association and the National Research Council.
Soy oil repellents were found to be as effective as DEET repellents, according to a New England Journal of Medicine report. Just make sure the soy oil source is at least non-GMO. Organic soy is best.
Catnip oil was found to be considerably more effective than DEET in Iowa Universtiy lab experiments, 10 times more effective. But the testing was not done on mammals.
Citronella and Lavender oils are traditional and acceptable insect repellents. But don't use their fragrance products. Use the essential oils diluted in water or dilute them in a natural skin
Eucalyptus oil is the subject of controversy on several internet sites advocating natural insect repellents. Some consider Listerine, the mouthwash, to contain enough eucalyptus while others doubt the oil's content in Listerine to be sufficient.
But there is a lemon-eucalyptus spray on the market that protects against mosquitoes called Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Repellent that has been tested successfully. It lasts longer than low DEET solutions but not as long as high DEET solutions. So spray a little more often.
Many health food stores and herbalists carry at least some of these oils. Concentrated essential oils can be toxic. So dilute them enough to maintain potency while keeping them non-toxic.