Officials Confirm West Nile virus found in FL and SC

Officials Confirm West Nile virus found in FL and SC

December 07, 2018

Officials from Florida and South Carolina are warning the public that the West Nile Virus has been found in mosquitos and birds for the 2018 season, with one human case confirmed in Florida. Warmer fall weather has allowed mosquitos to persist, increasing the odds of contracting the disease in areas where the virus has been previously found in bird and mosquito samples.

In Florida, a human case of West Nile was confirmed in a Gadsden County resident, urging public health officials to warn the public of a heightened risk. Similarly, Greenville County, South Carolina officials are also warning residents about a heightened risk of West Nile following the finding of yet another West Nile carrying bird in the area. Officials there are planning to conduct a mosquito fogging in the area in which the bird was found in an attempt to prevent the virus from spreading.

West Nile Virus is carried by mosquitos and can be transferred to humans through a bite. It's important to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites when spending time outdoors. Here are some tips for preventing mosquitos and potential exposure to the West Nile Virus:

  • Wear long sleeves and long pants; Covering exposed skin limits areas where mosquitos can bite.
  • Drain standing water around your home and property to stop mosquitos from multiplying.
  • Properly dispose of old tires, drums, bottles and other debris around your yard that can collect rainwater and provide a place for mosquitos to breed.
  • Clean bird baths and outdoor pet bowls weekly.
  • Cover boats and vehicles to prevent water from accumulating.
  • Maintain swimming pools with chlorine or another sanitizing product.
  • Apply mosquito repellent to exposed skin before spending time outdoors.
  • Use mosquito netting to protect infants and children that are too young to use mosquito repellents.
  • Cover doors and windows with screens to prevent mosquitos from entering your home. Repair broken screens immediately.

Avoiding mosquito bites is the best way to prevent West Nile Virus from infecting you or your family. For more information on the West Nile Virus, visit the Center for Disease Control's website.

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