Officials from the Florida Department of Health in Osceola County say that there has been a documented increase in mosquito-borne disease activity in the county.
According to FDOH, officials confirmed two cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis in horses this week and are concerned that residents may fall ill, as the risk of transmission to humans has increased.
The county says its Mosquito Control division and the department of health continue surveillance and prevention efforts, but encourages residents and visitors to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes and to take basic precautions to help limit exposure.
Drain standing water from garbage cans, house gutters, buckets, pool covers, toys and other places where rainwater has collected to eliminate the places where mosquitoes multiply. Discard old tires, drums, bottles, cans, pots and pans, broken appliances and other items that aren’t being used and 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 and maintain swimming pools in good condition at the appropriate chlorination.
In addition to draining standing water, the county advises covering skin with clothing or repellent, including shoes, socks, long pants, and long-sleeves, especially for people who work in areas where mosquitoes are present. Repellents with DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, 2-undecanone and IR3535 are effective.
For more information the different repellents, use the Environmental Protection Agency’s search tool for 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 through the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s website.
For more information, visit Florida Department of Health’s mosquito born illnesses webpage.