Case of West Nile virus confirmed in Volusia County

Health officials offer prevention tips

Mosquitoes (Atlanta)
Mosquitoes (Atlanta) (image from RAL)

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – Department of Health officials in Volusia County said Friday that a single case of West Nile virus has been confirmed in a county resident.

The mosquito borne illness has not been detected in any sentinel chickens, which are used to detect the virus, within Volusia County, but officials say the single human case increases the chance of transmission to other people.

Eight out of 10 people infected with the West Nile virus do not show symptoms, but some symptoms include fever, headache, body aches, vomiting, diarrhea or rash, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Most people with the West Nile virus fully recover. About one in 10 people who develop severe symptoms affecting the central nervous system die, according to the CDC.

There is no vaccine for the infection currently available.

Volusia County health officials have asked residents to take precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

Tips to avoid mosquito bites:

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 by keeping them 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, para-menthane-diol and IR3535 are effective. 
  • Use mosquito netting to protect children younger than 2 months old. 

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