MIAMI (CBSMiami) – As if the coronavirus wasn’t enough to deal with, the state’s health department said four more people in Miami-Dade have contracted the West Nile virus.
It brings the total number of infections in the county to 18.
So far, no cases are reported in Broward.
West Nile virus 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 it in people.
Most people infected with West Nile virus do not feel sick, according to the health department.
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.
In order to help stop the spread of the mosquito-borne illness, you have to stop the mosquitos by remembering Drain and Cover.
DRAIN standing water around your house to stop the pesky critters from multiplying.
- Drain water from garbage cans, house gutters, buckets, pool covers, coolers, toys, flower pots or any other containers where sprinkler or rainwater 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.
Cover doors and windows with screens to keep mosquitos out of your house. Repair broken screening on windows, doors, porches, and patios.