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Health Department Warns to Take Precautions Against Mosquitoes

10:29 PM, Aug 2, 2011   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Duval County Health Department confirmed three new human cases of West Nile Virus Tuesday, bringing this year's total to five.  There's concern more people will get sick.

Englewood resident Natasha Calhoun keeps her five children inside most of the evening.  She said, "We barely, we don't come outside."  They only go for a short walk each evening.

Dr. Bob Harmon, the director of the Duval County Health Department, said five cases so far this year is a high number.  He added, "And they're the only cases in Florida, so we're on high alert."

And to make matters worse for the Calhoun family and their neighbors, there's a drainage ditch that runs through parts of Englewood, just hopping with mosquitoes.  "Both of the ditches over here are bad," Calhoun said.

The health department also tests chickens and other types of birds in a number of areas around Jacksonville.  Harmon said, "We have sentinel chickens and this does affect birds.  The viral infection can infect birds."  If they find dead birds, the health department tests them for West Nile, to get further information on how to protect us.

The Duval County Health Department has more information on its website about the symptoms of West Nile Virus and how to prevent mosquitoes from breeding near your home.

 

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