West Nile virus confirmed in Duval County

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) (2012 Getty Images)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Duval County Health Department issued a warning Monday morning: People in Duval County are at a greater risk of contracting the West Nile virus after several sentinel chicken flocks have tested positive for WNV.

There are no vaccines to prevent or medications to treat West Nile in people. Fortunately, most people infected with the virus do not feel sick.

About one in five people who are infected develop a fever and other symptoms. About one out of 150 infected people develop a serious, sometimes fatal illness.

You can reduce your risk of WNV by using insect repellent and wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants to prevent mosquito bites.

To stop mosquitoes from multiplying, drain standing water sources such as garbage cans, house gutters, buckets, pool covers, or any other containers where sprinkler or rainwater has collected.

Be sure swimming pools are appropriately chlorinated. Empty plastic swimming pools when not in use.

West Nile Virus may also be referred to as locally acquired dengue. Dengue is a virus spread through mosquito bites. It also includes Eastern Equine Encephalitis and St. Louis Encephalitis.

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