West Nile virus found in people in 2 Florida counties, prompting health advisory to take precautions against mosquitoes


NAPLES, Fla. — State health officials advised residents in two southwest Florida counties to take precautions against mosquitoes after West Nile virus was confirmed in people.

Mosquito season: How to identify symptoms of West Nile Virus

UP NEXT

UP NEXT

The health department in Lee County reported one human case of West Nile, according to spokeswoman Tammy Yzaguirre. The health department in Collier County declined to say how many cases of human infection have been identified.

Loading...

Load Error

The public is advised to take precautions against mosquitoes by covering exposed skin with clothing and using insect repellent.

In addition, the health department recommends reducing mosquito breeding grounds around homes by draining standing water from pots, birdbaths, coolers, garbage cans and other items where water can accumulate.

The Collier Mosquito Control District on Sept. 19 issued an advisory that its scientists had detected West Nile in local mosquitoes and was treating adult mosquitoes in standing water.

“Hurricane Sally left us with an abundance of standing water, and this week we’ve not only treated for mosquitoes, but we’ve applied larvicide granules which have a 30-day release to kill mosquito larvae,” Patrick Linn, executive director of the district, said. “We will continue to work at mitigating the number of adult mosquitoes in coming weeks.”



a close up of an animal: Mosquitoes: Another tiny terror, the mosquito is ubiquitous in Florida. While the insects’ bites alone are just itchy and annoying, mosquitoes can transmit potentially fatal illnesses like West Nile virus and Eastern equine encephalitis virus, or EEEV. Less often, cases of exotic mosquito-borne diseases like dengue fever and Zika have been reported in the state. In 2019, 11 people around the country died of EEEV, prompting officials to issue a warning in Florida. According to the CDC, the primary transmission cycle of the virus takes place in swampy areas, and transmission is most common in and around hardwood swamps. The Florida Department of Health promotes a “drain and cover” strategy to limit mosquito infestations in places where people live and work. This means standing water should be drained promptly, and containers meant to hold water, like cisterns or pools, should be covered.


© Ralf Geithe, Getty Images
Mosquitoes: Another tiny terror, the mosquito is ubiquitous in Florida. While the insects’ bites alone are just itchy and annoying, mosquitoes can transmit potentially fatal illnesses like West Nile virus and Eastern equine encephalitis virus, or EEEV. Less often, cases of exotic mosquito-borne diseases like dengue fever and Zika have been reported in the state. In 2019, 11 people around the country died of EEEV, prompting officials to issue a warning in Florida. According to the CDC, the primary transmission cycle of the virus takes place in swampy areas, and transmission is most common in and around hardwood swamps. The Florida Department of Health promotes a “drain and cover” strategy to limit mosquito infestations in places where people live and work. This means standing water should be drained promptly, and containers meant to hold water, like cisterns or pools, should be covered.

Most people who are infected with the mosquito-borne virus don’t show symptoms or only have minor symptoms like mild headache and fever, and the symptoms generally go away on their own, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

More serious symptoms are severe headache, weakness and disorientation which require immediate medical attention. In some cases, people develop inflammation of the spinal cord or brain, which can be life-threatening.

The health department advises using mosquito repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, 2-undecanone, and IR3535.

Repellent should be used to protect children younger than two months old.

The district monitors daily mosquito data for treatment planning and for performing in-house testing of local mosquitoes for West Nile and other mosquito-borne health threats.

Follow Liz Freeman on Twitter: @ndnlizfreeman

Video: How does herd immunity work? (TODAY)

How does herd immunity work?

UP NEXT

UP NEXT

Continue Reading

Source Article