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Health Tip: Avoid Mosquito Bites

(HealthDay News) -- Mosquito bites may be more than just an itchy annoyance -- they also can transmit deadly germs that cause diseases such as Zika, West Nile or dengue, the U.S. National Institutes of Health warns.

Mosquito-borne illnesses kill about 725,000 people worldwide each year, the agency says.

Here are the NIH's suggestions for avoiding mosquito bites:

  • Use an insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol or IR3535 on the skin or thin clothing.

  • Wear long sleeves, pants and socks.

  • Install or repair screens to keep insects out. Use air conditioning, if available, and keep windows and doors shut.

  • Get rid of bug breeding sites by emptying standing water from flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet dishes and birdbaths.

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