Health officials in Hillsborough County, FL are reporting the first human West Nile virus (WNV) case of 2015 in an adult male. This is the eighth WNV case in Florida this year–Other cases have been reported in Escambia County (3), Pinellas County (1), Volusia County (1) and two in Walton County.
“Residents and visitors should take precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes and to limit exposure to mosquito-borne illnesses,” said Dr. Douglas Holt, MD, Director Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County.
Hillsborough County Mosquito and Aquatic Weed Control and the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County continue surveillance and prevention efforts. There is heightened concern that other Hillsborough County residents and visitors may become ill from being bitten by an infected mosquito.
In 2015, WNV positive samples from eight mosquito pools and 169 sentinel chickens have been received from 21 counties throughout Florida.
Nationally, as of September 29, 2015, 1,028 cases of West Nile virus disease in people have been reported to CDC.
WNV is most commonly transmitted to humans by mosquitoes. You can reduce your risk of being infected with WNV by using insect repellent and wearing protective clothing to prevent mosquito bites. There are no medications to treat or vaccines to prevent WNV infection.
Fortunately, most people infected with WNV will have no symptoms. About 1 in 5 people who are infected will develop a fever with other symptoms. Less than 1% of infected people develop a serious, sometimes fatal, neurologic illness.