In 2009 Pediatrics published an article about West Nile Virus (WNV). The research showed that median annual incidence of WNND for children was 4 times lower than that reported for younger adults and 13 times lower than that reported for older adults. For the entire country over the past 8 years, the occurrence is 0.07 in 100,000 for children under 18. That is less than 1 in a million. This seems like a relatively low risk. But I suppose if there are a lot of cases of WNV in my area then my area would have a higher risk than this. So what is my area like?
I checked the CDC website and there have been 79 confirmed cases and 3 deaths in my state and 6 cases and 2 deaths (both in elderly people) in my county (800,000 people). Now, if I lived in Dallas County (2.5 million people) where there have been 293 cases and 15 deaths there would ten times more risk of being exposed to West Nile Virus. Which may be why they are spraying for mosquitoes in Dallas…which could cause other problems...But the risk in Dallas isn’t high, about 1 in 10,000.
OK, so now I’m wondering what you guys think about the risk of West Nile Virus for kids and the risks of insect repellent. Which one are you more concerned about? I would love to hear your thoughts. Personally, I do not think there is evidence to really worried about either one. But mosquito bites are itchy and uncomfortable. I want to avoid the baby getting them even if he isn’t at much risk for West Nile Virus. In fact, at this point, I think my parents are at more risk from West Nile Virus than he is. But I cannot quite bring myself to spray him with DEET. I will probably keep spraying his clothes and and then wipe his exposed skin with an "Avon Skin So Soft Bug Guard plus Picaridin" wipe if the bugs seem to be bothering him.