The Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County (DOH-Sarasota) has notified residents that mosquito-borne disease activity has increased in areas of Sarasota County. Three sentinel chickens have tested positive for West Nile virus infection and the risk of transmission to humans has increased. Sarasota County Mosquito Control and DOH-Sarasota will continue their surveillance and prevention efforts. DOH-Sarasota reminds local residents and visitors not to be bitten by mosquitoes and to take basic precautions to limit exposure.
To protect yourself from mosquitoes, do the following:
- Drain water from trash cans, gutters, buckets, pool covers, refrigerators, toys, flower pots, or any other container that has collected sprinkler or rainwater.
- Dispose of old tires, barrels, bottles, cans, pots and pans, broken appliances, and other items that are not in use.
- Empty and clean pet bird baths and water bowls at least once or twice a week;
- Protect boats and vehicles from rain with tarpaulins that do not collect water.
- Keep swimming pools in good condition and appropriately chlorinated. Empty plastic swimming pools when not in use.
- Cover the skin with clothing or repellent.
- Wear shoes, socks, long pants and long sleeves. This type of protection may be needed for people who need to work in areas where mosquitoes are present.
- Apply mosquito repellent to bare skin and clothing. (Repellants containing DEET, picaridin, lemon eucalyptus oil, para-menthane diol, 2-undecanone, and IR3535 are effective. Use mosquito nets to protect children under 2 months of age. Always read the directions on the label carefully. )
- Cover doors and windows with screens to keep mosquitos out of your home, and fix broken shields on windows, doors, porches and patios.
The Florida Department of Health continues to conduct statewide surveillance for mosquito-borne diseases, including West Nile Virus Infections, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, St. Louis Encephalitis, Malaria, Chikungunya, and Dengue Fever. Residents are encouraged to report dead birds through the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission website. Please visit the DOH website for more information.