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Human case of West Nile virus confirmed in Palm Beach County

'Heightened concern' additional residents could become ill
Posted at 11:23 AM, Jul 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-28 16:50:50-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Health officials in Palm Beach County announced Monday a human case of West Nile virus that was acquired locally.

The case was discovered after the victim donated blood last week, which tested positive for West Nile antibodies.

The Florida Department of Health advised residents there has been a recent increase in mosquito-borne disease activity in areas of Palm Beach County.

Experts said there is a "heightened concern" that additional residents may become ill from West Nile.

Palm Beach County Mosquito Control and the Department of Health said they continue surveillance and prevention efforts to reduce mosquito-borne diseases.

“We looked for mosquito larvae, and they treated a number of different areas and roadside swells that were putting out mosquitos. In addition to that, we’re putting out the ULV, the ultra-low volume spray trucks, to spray for adult mosquitoes," said Chris Reisinger of Palm Beach County Mosquito Control.

Most West Nile virus infections, about 80 percent, are asymptomatic, according to health experts. Those who develop symptoms usually experience headache, fever, pain and fatigue.

The best way to avoid mosquito bites is wear long sleeves, light colors, wear insect repellent or stay indoors.

The last human cases of West Nile Virus in Palm Beach County were two in 2018, however both were imported cases.