The Florida Department of Health in Orange County is emphasizing precaution against mosquito-borne disease. Throughout the year, the health department works with 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 West Nile virus infections, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, St. Louis encephalitis, malaria and dengue.
"It is important for people to be aware that standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes and can lead to an increase in the insects. There are simple measures to reduce the chances of contracting a mosquito-borne illness," said Dr. Kevin M. Sherin, Director of the Florida Department of Health in Orange County.
Orange County residents and visitors should remain diligent in protecting themselves from mosquito bites by practicing: Drain and Cover.
Drain standing water to stop mosquitoes from multiplying.
- 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: The water balance (pool chemistry) of swimming pools. Empty plastic swimming pools when not in use.
Cover your skin with clothing and use mosquito repellant.
- 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 DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, and IR3535 are effective. Use mosquito netting to protect children younger than 2 months.
Cover doors and windows with screens to keep mosquitoes out.
- Keep mosquitoes out of your house. Repair broken screens on windows, doors, porches, and patios.
Symptoms of mosquito-borne illnesses may include headache, fever, fatigue, dizziness, weakness, and confusion.