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West Nile Virus 'Outbreak' in Jacksonville

10:10 AM, Aug 4, 2011   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- "I can't even talk; they're in my eye," said Jacksonville resident Natasha Collhoun.

For her family, the mosquitoes in Jacksonville are too much to bear. She says the problem has been worse this summer than ever before. The city says it's trying to help, as new cases of West Nile virus have been reported. 

"We're doing all we can, and we want to make sure folks in the community protect themselves as well. But we're being very proactive about this," said Mayor Alvin Brown.

Brown went out with mosquito control Wednesday to spray down areas in Ortega. 

"We have an opportunity to get ahead of it, we've covered the storm drains, about 2,000 of them, we're 36,000 acres of land and spraying," he said.

The Department of Mosquito Control says they're taking an aggressive approach to killing the pests after five serious cases of the West Nile Virus.

"Prevention is the best case. There's no vaccine and there's no anti-virul, so it's just preventative care in the hospital if you get a bad case," said Duval County Health Department Director Bob Harmon.

Harmon said the five cases of West Nile Virus in Jacksonville constitute an outbreak.

To protect yourself, avoid being outside at dusk and dawn, wear protective clothing if you have to work outside, and use an insect repellent that contains DEET.

Tips to prevent mosquito breeding on your property:

  • Eliminate any standing water around your home
  • Remove old tires, broken or unused toys from your yard
  • Keep lids on the garbage cans
  • Keep all gutters free of debris that could trap water
  • Replace water in any birdbaths at least twice a week
  • If you have mosquito problems in your neighborhood, call 630-CITY.

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