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West Nile virus detected in Belle Glade

Posted at 4:59 PM, Oct 10, 2018

Officials with the Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County have detected West Nile virus in Belle Glade, the second recent case in the county.

All residents are advised to take the necessary precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

"We are constantly monitoring for mosquito borne disease like West Nile virus, Chikungunya, and St. Louis Encephalitis. Today's confirmation of the presence of West Nile virus is a good reminder for all to take the necessary preventative measures," said Department of Health Palm Beach County Director Dr. Alina Alonso.

To avoid being bitten by mosquitoes, the department advises you to drain any standing water from around your home or business as mosquitoes leave their eggs in the smallest water reservoir.

They also recommend you check to make sure your windows and doors are screened properly and in good condition, and to use air conditioning.

And when you're outside, use an insect repellent that contains DEET or Picardin, wear light weight long sleeved shirts, long pants and socks, especially at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.

In September, officials detected West Nile virus in the Jupiter Farms area.

According to a statement, "DOH-Palm Beach has sentinel chicken flocks strategically placed from Delray Beach to Jupiter and west in Belle Glade and Pahokee. These chickens donate a blood samples weekly to be tested in the Florida State Laboratory for the presence of mosquito-borne viruses. Chickens do not contract the disease but can carry the virus in their blood."

According to the CDC, about one in five people who are infected develop a fever and other symptoms. About one out of 150 infected people develop a serious, sometimes fatal, illness.