JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Florida Department of Health issued an alert Tuesday after a case of West Nile virus was confirmed in a 54-year-old man.
This is the second case of the virus to be confirmed in Duval County in 2013, according to the Department of Health.
About one in 150 people infected with the virus develop a severe illness. Symptoms include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. The symptoms can last several weeks, and neurological effects may be permanent.
Health officials advise the public to continue their efforts to prevent mosquito bites. 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, drums, bottles, cans, pots and pans, broken appliances and other items that aren't being used. Empty
and clean birdbaths and pet's 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 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, and IR3535 are effective.
- Use mosquito netting to protect children younger than 2 months old. COVER doors and windows with screens to keep mosquitoes out of your house:
- Repair broken screening on windows, doors, porches, and patios.
Remember to real label directions before you use repellent. Concentrations of up to thirty percent are recommended, but don't apply it under your clothing. Also, always make sure the repellent is acceptable before using it on your children, and don't apply it to their hands. Instead, apply the repellent to yourself first, then transfer it to the child's skin and clothing. Always follow the manufacturer's directions.
Residents of Florida are encouraged to report dead birds via this website
. For more information on mosquito-borne illnesses, visit DOH’s Environmental Public Health website here
or call your DOH-Duval at 904-253-1850.