INDIAN RIVER COUNTY, Fla. - The Indian River County Health Department has issued a mosquito-borne illness alert for the county.
Tests performed on weekly blood samples from flocks of sentinel chickens in different parts of the county have confirmed widespread transmission of West Nile virus, which has intensified in late September and October.
Indian River Mosquito Control District monitors eight flocks of sentinel chickens (six chickens per flock) in different parts of the county.
Residents continue to be in a period of unusual risk of West Nile virus infection, health department officials said.
No human cases of mosquito-borne disease have been reported on the Treasure Coast this year. The closest cases of West Nile virus have been two in Brevard County.
Both West Nile and St. Louis encephalitis cause flu-like symptoms that can last weeks or months. Permanent neurologic damage or death occurs in about one in 150 human infections.
Indian River Mosquito Control District continues to monitor the local West Nile virus situation in collaboration with Indian River County Health Department (772-794-7440
TIPS FOR HALLOWEEN ACTIVITIES
During mosquito season, protect yourself from mosquito bites by following the 5 D’s:
-Dusk and Dawn: Avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are biting, especially between dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active. When indoors use your air conditioner or use screens on windows and doors.
-Dress: Wear clothing that covers most of your skin.
-DEET: Use repellents containing DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide, or N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide). Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, IR3535 and Permethrin are other repellent options.
-Drainage: Check around your home to rid the area of standing water, which is where mosquitoes can lay their eggs. Standing water can collect in small buckets, animal drinking bowls, bird baths, potted plants and bases, ornamental fountains, uncovered boats, garbage cans, coolers, discarded tires and clogged roof gutters.
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