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1 case of West Nile virus found in Sarasota County, health officials say

The case was initially reported in late September with the person experiencing symptoms of the virus.
Credit: nataba - stock.adobe.com

SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. — The Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County has identified a human case of West Nile virus within the area, health officials announced Tuesday.

The case was initially reported in late September with the person experiencing symptoms of the virus. 

Although most people do not develop any symptoms when they contract the illness, one in five people can still experience body aches, diarrhea, headache, rash or joint pain. Anybody, especially people over the age of 60, can also experience severe illness, including tremors, high fever, vision loss, muscle weakness and neck stiffness, DOH-Sarasota County said in a news release. 

"While the peak period of transmission in Florida is July through September, mosquito-borne diseases can be transmitted throughout the fall," the news release stated. "West Nile virus is transmitted to wild birds by Culex mosquitoes. Occasionally, an infected mosquito will bite a human or animal (particularly horses) and cause disease. Culex mosquitoes are known to bite from dusk to dawn."

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The county's mosquito management services and the department of health say they will continue to monitor the recent confirmation of the West Nile virus and perform prevention efforts. 

"While cooler weather has reduced the number of mosquitos in our environment, we continue to be under a mosquito-borne disease advisory," health officials stated in the news release. 

DOH-Sarasota County encourages people to do the following to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes and help limit exposure:

  • Drain standing water to stop mosquitoes from multiplying.
  • Cover skin with clothing or insect repellent (preferably with DEET).
  • Cover doors and windows with screens to keep mosquitoes out of your house.

Health officials in the county say will continue to keep track of mosquito-borne illnesses, including West Nile virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, St. Louis Encephalitis, Malaria and Dengue.

To learn more about mosquito-borne illnesses, click here.

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