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HEALTH OFFICIALS ANNOUNCE THE FIRST CASE OF WEST NILE VIRUS

May 09, 2020

Miami, FL – The Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County (DOH-Miami-Dade) is under a mosquito-borne illness alert. A case of West Nile virus infection of local transmission has been confirmed in a Miami-Dade resident. This is the first local case of West Nile virus in 2020.

West Nile virus (WNV) is the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in the continental United States.  It is most commonly spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. There are no vaccines to prevent or medications to treat WNV in people.

Most people infected with West Nile virus do not feel sick. About 1 in 5 people who are infected develop a fever and other symptoms such as headache, pain, and fatigue.  People with mild illness typically recover within about a week with symptomatic treatment. Less than one-percent of infected people develop a serious, sometimes fatal, illness. Symptoms typically appear between two and 14 days after the bite of an infected mosquito. People over the age of 60 and individuals with weakened immune systems are at an increased risk for severe disease

DOH-Miami-Dade continues to advise the public to remain diligent in their personal mosquito protection efforts by remembering 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, para-menthane-diol, and IR3535 are effective.
    • Use mosquito netting to protect children younger than 2 months old.