Mosquito-borne illness alert: West Nile Virus cases increase to 28 in Miami-Dade

MIAMI – The Florida Department of Health announced the West Nile virus infections in Miami-Dade County this year have increased to 28.

Two new West Nile virus infections in Miami-Dade County caused the public health officials to warn residents on Thursday to take preventive measures. This year’s first case in Miami-Dade was reported in May.

According to FDOH, about 1 in 5 people who are infected develop a fever and other symptoms such as headache, pain, and fatigue and less than 1% of infected people develop a fatal, illness.

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Here is a list of FDOH tips to prevent the spread of the West Nile virus:

  • Drain water from garbage cans, house gutters, buckets, pool covers, coolers, toys, flower pots or any other containers where water 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.
  • 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.
  • Repair broken screening on windows, doors, porches, and patios.

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