FL Dept of Health in Bay Co. Urges Precautionary Measures to Avoid Mosquito-Borne Illnesses

Bay County- Recent heavy rains have increased the amount of standing water around Bay County.

This will result in increased mosquito activity during the following weeks.

Officials with the Florida Department of Health in Bay County are emphasizing the importance of our residents and visitors protecting themselves against mosquito-borne diseases.

The Florida Department of Health advises the public to remain diligent in protecting themselves from mosquito bites by remembering “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. Maintain swimming pools in good condition and 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 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, 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.

Symptoms of West Nile virus may include headache, fever, fatigue, dizziness, weakness and confusion. Health care providers should contact their county health department if they suspect an individual may have a mosquito-borne illness. Florida Department of Health laboratories provide testing services for health care providers treating patients with clinical signs of mosquito-borne disease.

For more information on mosquito-borne illnesses, visit DOH’s Environmental Public Health Website or call the Florida Department of Health in Bay County at 850-872-4455.