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St. Johns County health officials issue West Nile virus advisory

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — According to the Florida Department of Health in St. Johns County, residents and visitors are being advised that the West Nile Virus has been confirmed in the area.

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The mosquito-borne disease has been recorded in one human case in the south-east area of the county. Officials say that the virus was locally acquired.

There is heightened concern that additional residents may become ill.

“The public should remain diligent in preventative measures like ‘Drain and Cover,’” said the latest advisory release.

Read: CDC: Alcohol-induced deaths on the rise

Sentinel chicken flocks, which are used by mosquito control for surveillance of mosquito transmitted viruses, tested positive for the virus in the county as well. Additionally, West Nile was detected in the death of one horse.

The DOH-St. Johns County has these tips to avoid being bitten by mosquitos and to limit exposure.

DRAIN standing water to stop mosquitoes from multiplying.

  • Drain water from garbage cans, house gutters, buckets, pool covers, coolers, toys, flower pots or any other containers where sprinkler or rain 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 water bowls at least twice a week.
  • Protect boats and vehicles from rain with tarps that don’t accumulate water.
  • Maintain swimming pools in good condition and keep them 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 directions. Repellents with DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, 2-undecanone and IR3535 are effective.
  • Use mosquito netting to protect children younger than 2 months old.

COVER doors and windows with screens to keep mosquitoes out of your house.

  • Repair broken screening on windows, doors, porches, and patios.

DOH-St. Johns County worked in partnership with the Anastasia Mosquito Control District leading up to issuing this advisory.

Visit the Health Department’s website by clicking here for more information.

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To see more about Anastasia Mosquito Control District and local mosquito control efforts visit the District’s website via the following weblink: www.AMCDsjc.org.