JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Duval County Health Department is urging residents to be cautious and protect themselves after lab tests confirmed a 62-year-old woman has been hospitalized for West Nile Virus Disease.
The woman has since been released from the hospital and is recovering. This is the first confirmed human case of the disease in Duval County since 2011, according to a news release from the health department.
West Nile Virus is a mosquito-borne illness and cannot be passed from person-to-person. Symptoms include fever, headache, rash, weakness, fatigue and dizziness.
There is no medication or vaccine to treat or prevent the disease.
If you have symptoms consistent with West Nile, you are urged to call your healthcare provider. Physicians should contact the health department if they suspect an individual may have a mosquito-borne illness.
The health department uses the "Drain and Cover" method to help remind people how to protect yourself from mosquitoes.
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 pets' 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, and IR3535 are effective.
Use mosquito netting to protect children younger than 2 months old.
COVER doors and windows with screens to keep mosquitoes out of your house:
Repair broken screening on windows, doors, porches and patios.
Tips on Repellent Use
- Always read label directions carefully for the approved usage
before you apply a repellent. Some repellents are not suitable for
- Productions with concentrations of up to 30 percent DEET are
generally recommended. Other EPA-approved repellents contain Picaridin,
oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535. These products are generally
available at local pharmacies. Look for active ingredients to be listed
on the product label.
- Apply insect repellent to exposed skin, or onto clothing, but not under clothing.
- In protecting children, read label instructions to be sure the
repellent is age-appropriate. According to the CDC, mosquito repellents
containing oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under
the age of 3 years. DEET is not recommended on children younger than 2
- Avoid applying repellents to the hands of children. Adults
should apply repellent first to their own hands and then transfer it to
the child's skin and clothing.
- If additional protection is necessary, apply a permethrin
repellent directly to your clothing. Again, always follow the
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