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West Nile Virus: What to watch for

It's no surprise along with the summer heat and high humidity, dealing with mosquitoes is part of the daily routine in Central Florida. But have you noticed they haven't been as bad this year?

"This year we've had fewer calls than we've had in past years. I think that's due to the fact that we have had less rain in the spring time, so mosquitoes had a later start to getting their population numbers up" said Kelly Deutsch, assistant manager of the Orange County Mosquito Control.

But even with numbers being low, the risk of mosquito-borne illnesses is still high. Just yesterday a Volusia man was the first confirmed West Nile case in Florida this year, making him the 39th case in the country.

Deutsch explained that "the disease is unpredictable, mosquito and birds are unpredictable. The virus can fluctuate on a number of environmental conditions that we cant predict."

According to the CDC, since 1999 the number of West Nile cases in Florida have have ranged from 3 to 94 cases.

Statistics show that only about 70-80 percent of people that get bitten by an infected mosquito will show symptoms of the illness. Meaning you may get bit and carry the disease without ever knowing.

These symptoms to look out for include: high fever, neck stiffness, headaches and disorientation.

Along with West Nile, Chikungunya and Dengue fever are other mosquito borne illnesses that can breed in standing water.

Along with the traditional bug repellent other ways to be proactive in this mosquito season, is to drain any standing water you might have laying around your home.

This can include gutters, birdbaths, and pool covers.
 


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