| Naples Daily News
West Nile Virus Leading Symptoms Explained
West Nile virus is the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in the US, with the highest concentration in the Midwest. Find out if you are infected here.
Corrections and Clarifications: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated what should be used to protect children under 2 months old. A mosquito net should be used.
NAPLES, Florida – State health officials advised residents in two counties in southwest Florida to take precautionary measures against mosquitos after the West Nile virus was confirmed in humans.
The Lee County Health Department reported a human case from the West Nile, according to spokeswoman Tammy Yzaguirre. The Collier County Health Department declined to say how many cases of human infection have been identified.
The public is advised to take precautions against mosquitos by covering exposed skin with clothing and using insect repellent.
In addition, the health department recommends reducing mosquito breeding sites near homes by draining stagnant water from pots, bird baths, refrigerators, trash cans, and other items where water can collect.
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The Collier Mosquito Control District issued a notice on Sept. 19 that its scientists had discovered West Nile in local mosquitos and were treating adult mosquitoes in stagnant water.
“Hurricane Sally left us with plenty of stagnant water and this week we not only treated mosquitoes, but also used larvicide granules that are released for 30 days to kill mosquito larvae,” said Patrick Linn, chief executive of the district. “We will continue to work on reducing the number of adult mosquitoes in the coming weeks.”
Most people infected with the mosquito-borne virus show no symptoms or have minor symptoms, such as a mild headache and fever, and symptoms generally go away on their own, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
More serious symptoms include a severe headache, weakness, and disorientation that require immediate medical attention. In some cases, people develop inflammation of the spinal cord or brain, which can be life-threatening.
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The health department recommends the use of mosquito repellants that contain DEET, picaridin, lemon eucalyptus oil, para-menthane diol, 2-undecanone and IR3535.
Mosquito nets should be used to protect children under 2 months of age.
The district monitors daily mosquito data for treatment planning and internal testing of local mosquitoes for West Nile and other mosquito-borne health threats.
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