JENSEN BEACH, Fla. -- Martin County Mosquito Control staff members are trying to fight back against the local mosquito population. Aerial spraying was ordered to combat the problem.
Within the past two weeks there have been at least seven confirmed cases of dengue fever in Martin County. They were reported in Rio and Jensen Beach.
Doctors say the seven adults have all recovered, but were so sick they had to take time off work.
Since the cases were reported, mosquito control staff members have also been trying to clear standing water around the area and take other preventative measures to fight the mosquito population.
Dengue fever is only spread by mosquitoes, and not by human to human contact.
Symptoms of Dengue Fever include: Joint pain, rash and headache.
The Florida Department of Health continues to advise the public to remain diligent in their personal mosquito protection efforts. These should include 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 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, 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.
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 US Environmental Protection Agency-approved repellents contain Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535. These products are generally available at local pharmacies. Look for active ingredients to be listed on the product label.
§ Apply insect repellent to exposed skin, or onto clothing, but not under clothing.
§ In protecting children, read label instructions to be sure the repellent is age-appropriate. According to the CDC, mosquito repellents containing oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under the age of three years. DEET is not recommended on children younger than two months old.
§ Avoid applying repellents to the hands of children. Adults should apply repellent first to their own hands and then transfer it to the child's skin and clothing.
§ If additional protection is necessary, apply a permethrin repellent directly to your clothing. Again, always follow the manufacturer's directions.
For more information on what repellent is right for you consider using the EPA search tool to help you choose skin-applied repellent products:
DOH continues to conduct statewide surveillance for mosquito borne illnesses, including West Nile virus infections, Eastern equine encephalitis, St. Louis encephalitis, malaria, and dengue.
For more information on mosquito-borne illnesses, visit DOH's website at http://www.doh.state.fl.us/Environment/medicine/arboviral/index.html or contact your local health department.