Precautionary Measures to Prevent Mosquito Born Illnesses

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TALLAHASSEE- Due to the heavy rainfall and isolated flooding throughout the state this summer, the Florida Department of Health (DOH) emphasizes the importance of residents and visitors protecting themselves against mosquito-borne diseases. To prevent mosquitoes from living and multiplying around your home or business, individuals should remember to drain and cover.

Drain standing water:

•Drain water from garbage cans, 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 pets’ water bowls at least once or twice a week.
•Protect boats and vehicles from rain with tarps that don’t accumulate water.
•Maintain swimming pools in good condition and appropriately chlorinated.
•Empty plastic swimming pools when not in use.

Cover skin with:

•Clothing - If you must be outside when mosquitoes are active, cover up. Wear shoes, socks, long pants and long sleeves.
•Repellent - Apply mosquito repellent to bare skin and clothing. Always use repellents according to the label. Repellents with 10-30 percent DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus and IR3535 are effective.
•Use mosquito netting to protect children younger than 2 months old.

Cover doors and windows with screens:

•Keep mosquitoes out of your house. Repair broken screening on windows, doors, porches and patios.

Symptoms of West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne illnesses may include headache, fever, fatigue, dizziness, and confusion.

For information on mosquito-borne illnesses, visit our Environmental Health website or call your local county health department.

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