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American Red Cross

MOSQUITOES USHER IN SUMMER WITH A STING

The Florida Department of Health (DOH) reminds Floridians and visitors to take simple preventive measures to protect against contracting mosquito-borne illnesses.  The mosquito population grows in the summer which coincides with the time of year many residents and visitors are outdoors enjoying Florida’s natural landscape. Floridians can take simple steps to combat mosquitoes and prevent mosquito-borne illness.

“Mosquito populations are likely to increase after recent rains,” said State Public Health Veterinarian Dr. Carina Blackmore. “It’s important that Floridians and visitors are informed that the risk of mosquito-borne disease is minimized by implementing precautions.”

DOH encourages three basic precautions to help limit mosquito bites and exposure to mosquito-borne illness:

    • DRAIN any standing water to stop mosquitoes from multiplying.
    • COVER skin with clothing or repellent.
    • COVER doors and windows with screens to keep mosquitoes out of your residence.

If outdoors at dusk or dawn, be cautious as mosquitoes are most active during these times. 

Floridians who are traveling internationally need to remember to use mosquito repellant to avoid mosquito bites, as communicable diseases often return to the United States after traveling abroad. DOH continues to conduct statewide surveillance for mosquito-borne illnesses, including West Nile virus, Eastern equine encephalitis virus, St. Louis encephalitis virus, malaria and dengue.

Symptoms of mosquito-borne illnesses may include headache, fever, fatigue, dizziness, weakness and confusion. It can take two to 14 days to become sick after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Anyone suspecting they are sick should contact their physician immediately. 

For more information on mosquito-borne illnesses, visit DOH’s Environmental Health Website.  You can also follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

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This entry was posted on June 18, 2012 by in Preparedness.

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