The most effective way to steer clear of the West Nile virus is to take steps to avoid contact with infected mosquitoes in the first place. Precautions stressed by the CDC include:Using mosquito-repellant products containing a chemical known as DEET
Wearing light, long-sleeved shirts and long pants to limit skin exposure
Mosquito-proofing your home by emptying all outdoor water-holding containers including trash cans
Installing window screens
Reporting the presence of dead birds to community health authorities.
Researchers believe the West Nile virus is spread to humans after a mosquito feeds on an infected bird, after which the then-infected mosquito goes on to bite and infect a person.