Case of West Nile virus identified in Daytona Beach, health officials say

Mosquito-borne viruses on the rise across Volusia County, according to FDOH

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – A human case of West Nile virus was identified in Daytona Beach amid an increase in mosquito-borne diseases across Volusia County, according to the Florida Department of Health.

Health officials said most people do not develop any symptoms from the virus, though approximately one out of five people can experience headache, body ache, joint pain, diarrhea or rash upon infection.

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Officials warned that severe illness can occur in people of any age, but people over 60 years of age are at greater risk.

Symptoms of severe illness include:

  • High fever
  • Neck stiffness
  • Tremors
  • Muscle weakness
  • Vision loss

According to FDOH, the peak period of transmission in Florida is July through September, but mosquito-borne diseases can still be transmitted throughout autumn.

FDOH added that West Nile virus and other diseases can be transmitted to people and animals — particularly horses — through bites from Culex mosquitoes. The department said that Culex mosquitoes are known to bite from dusk to dawn.

To avoid being bitten by mosquitoes, the department advised residents to drain standing water, cover skin and clothing with insect repellent, and cover doors and windows with screens.

In addition to West Nile virus, mosquitoes can transmit other diseases, such as Eastern Equine Encephalitis, St. Louis Encephalitis, Malaria and Dengue, health officials said.

For more information on mosquito-borne diseases, visit the Florida Department of Health’s website here.

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Anthony, a graduate of the University of Florida, joined in April 2022.