The Florida Department of Health in Escambia County (FDOH-Escambia) has issued a mosquito-borne illness advisory. The first human case of West Nile virus (WNV) in 2016 was confirmed in a resident in Escambia County, FL.
This is the fourth human WNV case reported in Florida to date- Duval, Okaloosa and Santa Rosa Counties have previously reported cases.
The Escambia County Mosquito Control Division and FDOH-Escambia continue surveillance and prevention efforts. There is heightened concern that other Escambia County residents and visitors may become ill from being bitten by an infected mosquito.
According to CDC, most people (70-80 percent) infected with WNV show no symptoms at all. About one in five people who are infected will develop a fever with other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash.
Most people with this type of illness recover completely, but fatigue and weakness can last for weeks or months. Less than one percent of people who are infected will develop a serious neurologic illness such as encephalitis or meningitis (inflammation of the brain or surrounding tissues).
Older adults and persons with weakened immune systems and/or other chronic illnesses are at the greatest risk for severe illness.
“If you suspect you are ill with a West Nile virus infection, please visit your doctor,” says FDOH Escambia Director, Dr. John J. Lanza. “The most important thing we can do is take precautions to prevent infection.”
This includes draining standing water, covering skin with clothing or repellent and covering doors and windows.