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'Tis the Season for Mosquito Repellent

2:48 PM, Aug 18, 2010   |    comments
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- State health officials are seeing an unusual outbreak of dengue fever in Key West and several human cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis this year.

So the Florida Department of Health is encouraging applying mosquito repellent before you go outdoors.

Florida's public health veterinarian Dr. Carina Blackmore suggests using repellents with DEET or lemon eucalyptus, wearing long sleeves and pants, and staying inside when mosquitoes are most active.

Blackmore said Florida has seen four human cases of equine encephalitis this year, including one case of West Nile Virus and a case of dengue fever in Key West.

"The last outbreak of dengue was in 1934. Dengue has been a reportable disease in Florida since the early 90s and we have not detected a locally acquired case prior to last fall."

Blackmore said the dengue virus is mainly transmitted by mosquitoes in South Florida and should not pose a threat farther north.

"It is primarily a South Florida concern because the mosquito, the Aedes aegypti that transmits dengue, is more common in urban areas and in South Florida."

Blackmore said you can also be proactive and eliminate mosquito-breeding areas by draining containers in your yard.

Dave Heller

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