Health officials in Duval and Nassau counties reported additional human West Nile virus (WNV) cases, prompting the issuance of mosquito-borne illness alerts on Monday.
The Florida Department of Health in Duval County has reported a fourth confirmed human case of WNV, and the Florida Department of Health in Nassau County reported the second human WNV case.
WNV is a potentially serious disease carried by mosquitoes. People get WNV after being bitten by an infected mosquito or handling a bird that died from the virus.
Most people don’t show any symptoms of WNV. Around 20 percent of people will develop flu-like symptoms, including:
- Head and body aches
- Joint pains
About one percent of people with WNV develop severe neurologic effects, which are sometimes permanent or fatal. Symptoms of severe WNV include:
- High fever
- Neck stiffness
There is no specific treatment for WNV. Most people recover completely, although fatigue and weakness can last for weeks or months.
Health departments continue to advise the public to remain diligent in their personal mosquito protection efforts by remembering to “Drain and Cover.” DRAIN standing water to stop mosquitoes from multiplying.
- Drain water from garbage cans, house gutters, buckets, pool covers, coolers, toys, flower pots or any other containers where sprinkler or rain water has collected.
- Discard old tires, drums, bottles, cans, pots and pans, broken appliances and other items that aren’t being used.
- Empty and clean birdbaths and pet’s water bowls at least once or twice a week
- Protect boats and vehicles from rain with tarps that don’t accumulate water.
- Maintain swimming pools in good condition and appropriately chlorinated. Empty plastic swimming pools when not in use.
COVER skin with clothing or repellent.
- Clothing – Wear shoes, socks, and long pants and long-sleeves. This type of protection may be necessary for people who must work in areas where mosquitoes are present.
- Repellent – Apply mosquito repellent to bare skin and clothing.
- Always use repellents according to the label. Repellents with DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, and IR3535 are effective.
- Use mosquito netting to protect children younger than 2 months old.
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