HENDRY COUNTY — The Florida Department of Health in Hendry County has issued a mosquito-borne illness advisory due to an increase in mosquito-borne disease activity in areas of Hendry County.
Two horses have tested positive for Eastern equine encephalitis virus and one horse has tested positive for West Nile virus infection. The risk of transmission to humans has increased. Mosquito control districts and the Hendry County Health Department continue surveillance and prevention efforts.
Please try to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes and take basic precautions to help limit exposure.
To protect yourself from mosquitoes, you should remember to “Drain and Cover”:
• 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’s water bowls at least once or twice a week.
• Protect boats and vehicles from rain with tarps that don’t accumulate water.
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. 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 two months old.
Tips on repellent use
• Always read label directions carefully for the approved usage before you apply a repellent. Some repellents are not suitable for children.
• Products with concentrations of up to 30 percent DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide) are generally recommended. Other U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-approved repellents contain picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, 2-undecanone or IR3535. These products are generally available at local pharmacies. Look for active ingredients to be listed on the product label.
COVER doors and windows with screens to keep mosquitoes out of your house.
• Repair broken screening on windows, doors, porches and patios.
For more information on what repellent is right for you, consider using the Environmental Protection Agency’s search tool to help you choose skin-applied repellent products:
The department continues to conduct statewide surveillance for mosquito-borne illnesses, including West Nile virus infections, Eastern equine encephalitis, St. Louis encephalitis, malaria, chikungunya and dengue. Residents of Florida are encouraged to report dead birds via the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s site — http://legacy.myfwc.com/bird/default.asp. For more information, visit DOH’s website at www.floridahealth.gov/%5C/diseases-and-conditions/mosquito-borne-diseases/index.html or contact your county health department.