West Nile Virus Case in Walton County

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This time of year...we're used to hearing the sound of wrapping paper and cash registers. It’s not common to hear the sound of a buzzing mosquito. In fact, in cooler weather, do you even think about preparing for mosquitoes? Local officials say you should be just as aware now as you were four months ago.

"Until we have a hard freeze for several days, we're going to have a possibility with our warmer afternoons, mosquitoes hatching and trying to feed," Doug Turnbull said. Turnbull works for the Houston County Health Department.

We’re still at risk for the West Nile Virus even in the cold. Tuesday the fourth human case was confirmed in Walton County, Florida, and it can still be a problem in the Wiregrass.

"They tend to think warm weather, mosquitoes, cold weather they don't think mosquitoes so they don't take the precautions they need to,” Turnbull said. “That's something you're going to have to do year-round in the southeast."

So it's important to be prepared for more than just guests this holiday. Here are some tips:

DRAIN standing water to stop mosquitoes from multiplying:
• Drain water from garbage cans, house gutters, buckets, pool covers, coolers, toys, flower pots or any other containers where sprinkler or rain water has collected.
• Discard old tires, drums, bottles, cans, pots and pans, broken appliances and other items that are not being used.
• 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.
• Maintain swimming pools in good condition and appropriately chlorinated. 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.
• Repellant: Apply mosquito repellent to bare skin and clothing. 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.

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