What Is the Zika Virus Risk for Older Adults?

The severe birth defects in babies born to women suspected of having the Zika virus have received most of the attention about this disease in the news, but the virus also poses a risk to older adults. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), said in an interview with AARP that researchers are looking at  a possible link between the mosquito-borne virus and developing Guillain-Barre syndrome, which can lead to paralysis in adults. “There seems …

A Simple Way to Repel Mosquitoes: Try a Fan

If you don’t like those stinky bug sprays with DEET, but you also don’t like being a mosquito buffet, here’s a simple, low-tech, no-chemical way to deter those little suckers from your backyard: An electric fan. I couldn’t believe it either, but a 2003 Michigan State University study found that a fan blowing air can mess up mosquitoes’ flying ability. It also helps blow away the carbon dioxide we humans exude, which apparently attracts mosquitoes like frat boys to free …

West Nile Virus: If You’re Over 50, Your Risk Is Higher

Federal health officials are warning older adults to take extra steps to protect themselves against the mosquito responsible for this summer’s record outbreak of West Nile virus. Thanks to the extreme heat and drought affecting the country, the mosquito that carries the West Nile virus has flourished. The result, say officials with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is the worst outbreak of the virus in history – infecting people in 47 states and causing 41 deaths so …