Friday, July 09, 2004


Think back, a few years ago, before anyone knew what the West Nile Virus was....~~Dream Sequence~~....People were trying to get that insect repellent off the market. Why? Because they were saying how unsafe Deet is. They were telling us to use items that had the least amount of Deet possible....~~End Dream Sequence~~...Now, in a world afraid of West Nile, Deet is everyone's best friend. You don't hear anyone saying anything bad about Deet. Why? Because it works so well to repel mosquitoes. Even the Governments CDC website tells us to "use repellent with DEET when spending time outdoors."

Now, I'm not trying to say anything bad about Deet or downplay what the West Nile Virus could do, I'm just making an observation about how things can be changed.

Do I use Deet? Yes, I do when I am outdoors where there are a lot of mosquitoes. Do I feel it's safe? I do when used properly. Why believe me though, Here is what the CDC answers to whether it is safe or not:

"Yes, products containing DEET are very safe when used according to the directions. The regulation of substances such as DEET is determined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Because DEET is so widely used, a great deal of testing has been done. When manufacturers seek registration with the EPA, laboratory testing regarding both short-term and long-term health effects must be carried out. Over the long history of DEET use, very few confirmed incidents of toxic reactions to DEET have occurred when the product is used properly. To read more information about DEET safety see the National Pesticide Information Center [NPIC], EPA re-registration eligibility decision fact sheet ( ) and the EPA Re-registration eligibility decision (R.E.D.) fact sheet."

What is Deet? Well, first off, Deet is N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide. It is actually a product made by one company, Morflex, Inc. They make all the Deet you find in anything. It was actually developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1946. It is a very efficient and long lasting bug repellent. Not just mosquitoes but many bugs. When at the store pick your favorite product that contains Deet and then pick the highest concentration of it. The more Deet, the longer it will last, and the less amount of times you will have to re-apply. For more information about Deet, go to, CDC Insect Repellent Use and Safety at, and Deet Online at

What is West Nile Virus? Well, what everyone's afraid of is fatal encephalitis or inflammation of the brain. That doesn't sound like fun to me. Most people don't even show any symptoms of having West Nile though. But if you do, try looking for things like fever, headache, body aches, and maybe swollen lymph glands. For a full list go to CDC's Symptoms of West Nile Virus at Most cases aren't all that serious but if you think you might have West Nile or what they call West Nile Fever then see your doctor as soon as possible and they will tell you what to do. For more information about West Nile, go to the CDC West Nile Virus Homepage at

Now, I have just gone over a few of the major points about Deet and West Nile Virus. Please check out the sites I listed or do a search yourself for more complete information.

Well, I guess we've seen the end of the war against Deet. At least for now and while West Nile is still a threat.


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