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7th human case of West Nile virus confirmed in Jacksonville

Authorities warn residents to protect themselves using 'drain and cover' tips

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Health in Duval County has confirmed another human case of West Nile virus infection, bringing the total number of cases in Jacksonville to seven.

In a news release Monday, the health department said the latest case underscores the ongoing concern about the mosquito-borne illness, which can be transmitted to humans through mosquito bites.

RELATED: First Coast High basketball coach recovering from West Nile virus

The health department warned people against fixating on the specific location of the cases, noting that mosquitoes that carry it can travel five or more miles and infected birds can travel even farther.

The agency and the city's mosquito control are continuing to monitor local cases. In addition, the agency is asking people to take steps to protect themselves and their loved ones.

Below is a list of "drain and cover" measures you can follow at home:

  • Drain water from garbage cans, house gutters, buckets, pool covers, coolers, toys, flower pots or any other containers where sprinkler or rain water collects
  • Discard old tires, drums, bottles, cans, pots, pans, broken appliances and other items that you are not currently using
  • Empty and clean bird baths and your pets' water bowls at least once or twice a week
  • Protect boats and vehicles from rain with tarps that don't collect water
  • Maintain swimming pools and keep tabs on their chlorine levels.
  • Cover the surface of your skin by wearing shoes, socks, long pants and long sleeves when going outside
  • Apply mosquito repellent to any your clothes and any exposed skin. Look for repellents with DEET, picardin, oil of lemon and eucalyptus, as they're more effective.
  • Protect children who are younger than two months old by covering them with mosquito netting when they go outside.

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