First Case of West Nile Virus Confirmed in Bay County - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

First Case of West Nile Virus Confirmed in Bay County

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Bay County has one case of blood confirmed West Nile Virus (WNV) in a 46 year old female. The West Nile Virus was detected through a routine blood screening process and it is suspected the person was bitten in early September 2012. The risk of transmission to humans has increased.

Bay County Health Department reminds residents and visitors to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes that may cause West Nile Virus. Bay County Mosquito Control is stepping up its mosquito control prevention efforts. Everyone is encouraged to take basic precautions to limit exposure by following the recommendations suggested by the Florida Department of Health.

The easiest and best way to avoid WNV is to prevent mosquito bites. The best preventive measure for residents living in areas with mosquitoes is to eliminate the places where mosquitoes lay eggs, primarily artificial containers that hold water.  This prevents mosquitoes from living and multiplying around your home or business:

DRAIN standing water:

  • Drain water from garbage cans, buckets, pool covers, coolers, toys, flowerpots or any other containers where sprinkler or rainwater has collected.
  • Discarded 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 do not accumulate water.
  • Maintain swimming pools in good condition and appropriately chlorinated.
  • Empty plastic swimming pools when not in use.

COVER your skin with:

CLOTHING - If you must be outside when mosquitoes are active, cover up. Wear shoes, socks, long pants and long sleeves.

REPELLENT - Apply mosquito repellent to bare skin and clothing. Always use repellents according to the label. Repellents with 10-30% 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: Keep mosquitoes out of your house. Repair broken screening on windows, doors, porches, and patios.

For more information on West Nile Virus, visit www.cdc.gov/westnile or contact the Bay County Health Department at 850-872-4455 ext. 1269.

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Information provided by the Bay County Health Department