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West Nile Virus Found in 8 People in Duval; One Woman Dead

10:18 PM, Aug 11, 2011   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- People should not worry too much despite eight cases of West Nile Virus, according to the director of the Duval County Health Department.

"People should not panic," said Dr. Robert Harmon.

There are eight confirmed cases in Duval and one death, a 64-year-old woman who died Wednesday.

MORE: How to Avoid West Nile Virus

According to Charles Griggs, spokesperson for the Duval County Health Department, this is the first West Nile-related death this year in Jacksonville.

The woman, who has not been identified, was from Jacksonville. The health department says the woman had health issues before being infected with West Nile.

The eight confirmed cases according to the health department are people who live on the Westside.

At a news conference today, John Shellhorn, chief of Mosquito Control, said homeowners should be diligent in removing stagnant water from their properties, especially in places like gutters and trash cans.

"You really need to look around your yard and residences. A mosquito can breed in a teaspoon of water so it doesn't take a great amount of water," said Shellhorn. 

Crews were busy today tracking tires that were dumped illegally. Tires harbor mosquito larvae.

On Friday, a state expert is assisting Duval to define the problem and determine whether additional action should be taken, said Harmon.

The health department says the Center for Disease Control could be called in for assistance if more cases surface in the city. in the meantime, the Department of Mosquito Control has increased efforts this season to killing the pests.

There was another confirmed death due to the West Nile Virus in Glynn County, Ga. 

First Coast News

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