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Health Officials Issue Mosquito-Borne Illness Advisory

Bryceville Fla.—The Florida Department of Health in Nassau County (DOH-Nassau) today advised residents there has been an increase in mosquito-borne disease activity in areas of Nassau County.

Several sentinel chicken flocks have tested positive for Eastern equine encephalitis virus infection. The risk of transmission to humans has increased. Amelia Island Mosquito Control and DOH-Nassau continue surveillance and prevention efforts.

DOH-Nassau reminds residents and visitors to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes and to take basic precautions to help limit exposure.

To protect yourself from mosquitoes, you should remember to “Drain and Cover”:

DRAIN standing water to stop mosquitoes from multiplying.

  • Drain water from garbage cans, house gutters, buckets, pool covers, coolers, toys, flowerpots or any other containers where sprinkler or rainwater 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
  • Protect boats and vehicles from rain with tarps that don’t accumulate
  • Maintain swimming pools in good condition and appropriately 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, para-menthane-diol, 2-undecanone and IR3535 are effective.
    • Use mosquito netting to protect children younger than 2 months old.

Tips on Repellent Use

  • Always read label directions carefully for the approved usage before you apply a repellent.
  • Apply insect repellent to exposed skin, or onto clothing, but not under clothing.
  • Treat clothing and gear with products containing 5% permethrin. Do not apply permethrin directly to skin.
  • Some repellents are not suitable for Ensure repellent is safe for children and age appropriate:
    • Mosquito repellents containing lemon eucalyptus oil or para-menthane-diol should not be used on children under the age of 3 years.
    • DEET is not recommended on children younger than 2 months old.
    • Avoid applying repellents to the hands of children.
    • Parents should apply repellent to their hands first and then transfer it to the child’s skin and clothing.

COVER doors and windows with screens to keep mosquitoes out of your house.

  • Repair broken screening on windows, doors, porches, and patios.

For more information on what repellent is right for you, consider using the Environmental Protection Agency’s search tool to help you choose skin-applied repellent products.

The Department continues to conduct statewide surveillance for mosquito-borne illnesses, including West Nile virus infections, Eastern equine encephalitis, St. Louis encephalitis, malaria, chikungunya, and dengue. Residents of Florida are encouraged to report dead birds to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s site.

For more information, visit the Department’s website or contact DOH-Nassau at 904- 875-6100.

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