MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Florida Department of Health wants Floridians and visitors to protect themselves from mosquitoes as the first case of West Nile virus illness for the year has been confirmed.
The DOH, on Friday, confirmed the first case of the mosquito-borne virus in an adult female resident of Walton County for 2015.
West Nile causes mild to severe illness, and there have been 38 other states with confirmed cases in 2015.
“Stay safe by draining any standing water near or in your home, making sure that screens are intact, and keeping your skin covered with clothing and mosquito repellent,” the State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health Dr. John Armstrong advised in a press release.
Most people with West Nile virus infections, approximately 80 percent, have no symptoms. People who develop symptoms experience mild illness with conditions like headache, fever, pain and fatigue. These typically appear between two and 14 days after the bite of an infected mosquito.
People over the age of 50 and individuals with weakened immune systems, especially transplant recipients and HIV-infected individuals, seem to be at increased risk for severe disease. There is no specific treatment for West Nile virus, and most mild infections are typically overcome with little or no medical intervention within a matter of weeks. Those experiencing severe side effects should seek medical attention immediately.
For more information about taking precaution for mosquito-borne illness, click here.