JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Health in Duval County has confirmed a new human case of West Nile virus, which brings the total number of cases in Jacksonville to six. Last year there were no cases of West Nile virus in Duval County.
Health officials warn residents not to focus on the exact location of the West Nile virus case since mosquitoes that spread the virus can travel 5 or more miles and infected birds can go even farther.
Parents at a park in Avondale said they are taking precautions but also want their kids to enjoy the outdoors.
"This park is really great but, I try to stay away from areas where there’s lots of standing water and shade. I try to not be out at sunset," said Padonda Ali.
"If we know we are going to encounter mosquitoes, we use bug spray. We try to use organic bug spray, but well bug spray with DEET works the best, the other ones don’t seem to," said Andrea Falce.
Residents throughout North Florida and South Georgia are urged to take precautions against mosquitoes 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 water or rain has collected.
- Discard old tires, drums, bottles, cans, pots, pans, broken appliances and other items that aren't be used.
- Empty and clean birdbaths and pet 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 with appropriate chlorination. Empty plastic swimming pools when not in use.
Cover - skin with clothing or repellent
- Clothing: Wear shoes, socks, long pants and long sleeves. This type of protection may be necessary for people who 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.
Tips on Repellent Use
- Always read label directions carefully for the approved usage before you apply a
repellent. Some repellents are not suitable for children.
- Products with concentrations of up to 30 percent DEET (N, N-diethyl-mtoluamide)
are generally recommended. Other U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-approved
repellents contain picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, paramenthane-diol,
or IR3535. These products are generally available at local pharmacies. Look for
active ingredients to be listed on the product label.
- Apply insect repellent to exposed skin, or on clothing, but not under clothing.
- In protecting children, read label instructions to be sure the repellent is age
appropriate. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
mosquito repellents containing oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on
children under the age of 3 years. DEET is not recommended to be used on children
younger than 2 months old.
- Avoid applying repellents to the hands of children. Adults should apply repellent
first to their own hands and then transfer it to the child’s skin and clothing.
- If additional protection is necessary, apply a permethrin repellent directly to your
clothing. Again, always follow the manufacturer’s directions.
Cover doors and windows with screens to keep mosquitoes out of your house.
- Repair broken screening on windows, doors, porches, and patios.