West Nile virus case prompts mosquito-borne illness advisory in Hillsborough

File photo
File photo

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County has issued a mosquito-borne illness advisory. The first case of West Nile virus in Hillsborough County was confirmed in an adult male. This makes the eighth human case in Florida in 2015.

“Residents and visitors should take precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes and to limit exposure to mosquito-borne illnesses,” said Dr. Douglas Holt, MD, Director Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County.

Hillsborough County Mosquito and Aquatic Weed Control and the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County continue surveillance and prevention efforts. There is heightened concern that other Hillsborough County residents and visitors may become ill from being bitten by an infected mosquito.

Here are some tips for protecting yourself and your family-

  • Remember to “Drain and Cover”: 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, bottles, pots, broken appliances and other items not being used.
  • Empty and clean birdbaths and pets’ water bowls at least 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 and cover doors and windows.
  • Wear comfortable shoes, socks, and long pants and long sleeves when mosquitoes are most prevalent.
  • Apply mosquito repellent to exposed skin and clothing.
  • Always use repellents according to the label. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registered repellents with 10-30 percent DEET, picaridin, IR3535 and some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-mentane-diol products provide longer-lasting protection.
  • Use mosquito netting to protect 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.
  • Place screens on windows, doors, porches and patios. Always repair broken screens.

For more information contact the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County at (813) 307-8000, or visit http://www.hillsborough.floridahealth.gov/. The department works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit http://www.FloridaHealth.gov.

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