MOSQUITO-BORNE ILLNESS ALERT ISSUED: 2ND HUMAN WEST
NILE VIRUS DISEASE CASE
Public Reminded to Guard Against Mosquito-Borne Diseases
ORLANDO – The Orange County Health Department (OCHD) has elevated the “Mosquito-Borne Illness Advisory” for the county to a “Mosquito-Borne Illness Alert” due to further mosquito-borne disease activity. The health department received laboratory confirmation today of a second human West Nile Virus (WNV) disease case in a resident from Orange County. This is the second confirmed case of WNV disease and the first WNV disease related death this year. Both cases reported no out-of-county travel in the two weeks prior to becoming ill, so the public is being reminded to guard against mosquitoes. The Orange County Health Department first issued a mosquito-borne illness advisory for the county August 23rd when the first WNV disease case was confirmed.
"Our hearts and prayers go out to this man’s family and friends. Mosquito-borne disease activity is up all across Florida, so it’s important for people to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes," said Dr. Kevin M. Sherin, Director of the Orange County Health Department.
As soon as this case was suspected, Orange County Mosquito Control was notified and increased surveillance and control measures were conducted. Throughout the year, OCHD works with local agencies: including Orange County Mosquito Control, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and state universities to monitor for the presence of illnesses carried by mosquitoes including WNV infections, Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), St. Louis encephalitis (SLE), Malaria and Dengue Fever. Central Florida has had an increase in birds and horses testing positive for EEE and WNV.
Orange County residents and visitors should remain diligent in protecting themselves from mosquito bites by following the "5 D’s," which include:
- Drainage – Check around your home to rid the area of standing water, where mosquitoes can lay their eggs.
- DEET – When the potential exists for exposure to mosquitoes, repellents containing DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide,or N,N-diethyl-3- (Methylbenzamide) are recommended. Picaridin and oil of lemon eucalyptus are other repellent options. Always use repellents according to label instructions.
- Dress – Wear clothing that covers most of your skin.
- Dusk and Dawn – Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active.
Tips on Eliminating Mosquito Breeding Sites
· Clean out eaves, troughs, and gutters.
· Remove old tires or drill drainage holes in those used at playgrounds.
· Turn over or remove empty plastic pots.
· Pick up all beverage containers and cups.
· Check tarps on boats or other equipment that may collect water.
· Pump out bilges on boats.
· Replace water in birdbaths and pet or other animal feeding dishes at least once a week.
· Change water in plant trays, including hanging plants, at least once a week.
· Remove vegetation or obstructions in drainage ditches that prevent the flow of water.
Symptoms of mosquito-borne illnesses such as West Nile virus disease, St. Louis Encephalitis, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, Malaria, and Dengue Fever may include headache, fever, fatigue, dizziness, weakness, and confusion. Physicians should contact their county health department if they suspect an individual may have a mosquito-borne illness. Department of Health (DOH) laboratories provide testing services for physicians treating patients with clinical signs of mosquito-borne diseases.
Monitoring wild bird deaths can help officials track the spread of some mosquito-borne diseases. Anyone who discovers a dead bird is encouraged to report it via the internet. The bird mortality reporting system is located on the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s website at: www.MyFWC.com/bird/. Citizens may also report dead birds to the Orange County Health Department by calling 407-521-2630 or the local Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission office.
For more information on mosquito-borne diseases, visit www.orchd.comor the DOH Environmental
Health website at www.doh.state.fl.us/Environment/medicine/arboviral/index.html.