2nd human case of West Nile virus confirmed in Nassau County

YULEE, Fla. – A second human case of the West Nile virus has been confirmed in Nassau County, bringing the total human cases in the districts of Northeast Florida to three.

Health officials began issuing warnings last month after the cases were confirmed in the provinces of Duval and Nassau.

Officials at the Florida Department of Health in Nassau County said Monday that there is more concern that more people may become ill after a second case has been confirmed for humans.

In August, officials from the Department of Health in Duval County issued warnings about the possible spread of mosquito-borne illnesses after West Nile was found in several sentinel chickens.

The Ministry of Health in Nassau County issued similar warnings in June after the Eastern equine encephalitis virus was found in horses in the province.

Since the beginning of 2018 four cases of EEEV infection in horses in Nassau County and one outbreak of EEEV in emus have been reported.

Ten sentinel chickens tested positive for EEEV in 2018, one tested positive for Highlands J Virus (HJV) and 21 tested positive for WNV, the health officials from Nassau County said.

West Nile virus is a potentially fatal infection that can be transmitted to humans, according to the health department.

LAKE: Consumer Reports tests 25 insect repellents | 5 repellents where you waste your money

Below is a list of some things you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones:

  • Drain stagnant water from trash cans and other items around the house that can become breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
  • Check to see if the screens on your doors and windows are in good condition. If that is not the case, repair any broken screens to keep the pests out of your house.
  • Keep your pool clean and make sure it has the correct chlorine level. If you have a plastic pool, empty it when it is not in use.
  • Cover your exposed skin with long pants and long sleeves. This is important, especially for people who work outdoors or where mosquitoes are found.
  • Apply insect repellent to the naked skin. Products containing DEET, picaridin, lemon oil, eucalyptus, para-menthane diol and IR3535 are effective.

For more information on which repellant is right for you, health officials encouraged residents to use the Environmental Protection Agency search function to purchase skin care products: http://cfpub.epa.gov/oppref/insect/#searchform.

The Ministry of Health continues to monitor the entire state of mosquito-borne diseases, including West Nile virus infections, Eastern equine encephalitis, St. Louis encephalitis, malaria, chikungunya and dengue.

Florida residents are encouraged to report dead birds via the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission website: http://legacy.myfwc.com/bird/default.asp. For more information go to DOH's website at http://www.floridahealth.gov/%5C/diseases-and-conditions/mosquito-borne-diseases/index.html or call your local county health department.

Dr. Mobeen Rathore, head of infectious diseases for UF Health and Wolfson, said that avoiding mosquitoes is really your only protection against WNV.

"Dawn and dusk are the two times that the mosquitoes are the most active, so avoid those times, but I think that everything you can do to prevent mosquito bites would greatly reduce your chance of getting West Nile," Rathore said.

In general, most people who are infected with West Nile do not experience any symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But about one in five can develop a fever, resulting in symptoms such as headaches, vomiting and diarrhea.

"That's the thing about West Nile," Rathore said. "Maybe about 20 percent have fever, flu-like – that's all they'll have, they'll feel sick, body aches, and so on a very small percentage will have more serious things, including neurological problems."

In rare cases, the CDC states, those infected with West Nile may develop a serious disease affecting the central nervous system, such as encephalitis or meningitis. Symptoms include high fever, loss of vision, paralysis, tremors and coma.

Currently no vaccine is available to treat West Nile virus. But according to the CDC, over-the-counter painkillers can help treat fever and other mild symptoms. Those with serious illnesses are encouraged to seek medical help.

Copyright 2018 by WJXT News4Jax – All rights reserved.

Source link

Leave a Reply