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Duval County sees first case of West Nile since 2011

12:29 PM, Jul 25, 2012   |    comments
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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 children.
  • 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 months old.
  • 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 manufacturer's instructions.

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