Third case of West Nile Virus confirmed in Bay County

BAY COUNTY, Fla (WJHG/WECP) - UPDATE 08/23/2018 12:03 p.m.:

Correction from the Bay County Health Department: The Department of Health in Bay County (DOH-Bay) has confirmed one human case of West Nile Virus infection in Bay County.

The Department of Health in Bay County has confirmed a third case of West Nile Virus infection in Panama City.

West Nile disease is a mosquito born illness that mimics flu symptoms.

"Most people will not experience any symptoms but we still want everyone to take precaution because persons that are 60 years and older are most at risk for the more severe symptoms and also if they have a chronic illness," Heather Kretzer, public information officer for the Florida Department of Health in Bay County said.

Those symptoms could be stiffness in your neck and disorientation
West Nile can also develop into more serious health issues.

"It could develop into in encephalitis or other serious neurological illnesses, so that's why we want to make sure that everyone is protecting themselves even though the risk might seem small," Kretzer said.

In July, officials issued a mosquito-borne illness alert following confirmation of two human cases of West Nile Virus in Bay County. Panama City Beach Mosquito Control, Bay County Mosquito Control and DOH-Bay continue surveillance and prevention efforts.

"The technicians are constantly boots on the ground they are out there checking their zones that they work in looking for standing water," Beach Mosquito Control's Cindy Mulla said.

Officials continue to encourage people to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes by taking basic precautions to help to limit exposure.

"Please be very vigilant going around your home weekly and looking for standing water and dumping it out in locations that could possible hold standing water, it just takes over a little tablespoon of water and you are raising mosquitoes around your home," Mulla said.

Some tips include: draining standing water to stop mosquitoes from multiplying and covering skin with clothes or repellent.