The Florida Department of Health in Collier County recently issued a mosquito-borne illness alert for Collier County. Human cases of West Nile virus (WNV) have been confirmed and there is a heightened concern additional residents will become ill.
In Florida to date, Thirty-two human cases of WNV illness acquired in Florida have been reported in 2020: Miami-Dade County (22), Palm Beach County (4), Broward County (3), Collier County (2), Bay County (1).
In addition, thirty-four asymptomatic positive blood donors have been reported in 2020 with 33 in Miami-Dade and one in Broward County.
West Nile virus is transmitted through the bite of a Culex mosquito. Common symptoms include fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches. Symptoms may last from a few days to a few weeks. However, four out of five people infected with West Nile virus will not show any symptoms. In rare cases, severe illness including meningitis, or even death, can occur. People older than 60 and individuals with weakened immune systems are at higher risk for severe illness from West Nile virus and need to remain vigilant.
DOH-Collier continues to advise the public to remain diligent in their personal mosquito protection efforts by remembering to “Drain and Cover”–DRAIN standing water to stop mosquitoes from multiplying, COVER skin with clothing or repellent and COVER doors and windows with screens to keep mosquitoes out of your house.