Suwannee Democrat

January 3, 2013

Alert for mosquito-borne illness is lifted


Suwannee Democrat

Live Oak — Today, Suwannee County Health Department Administrator Pamela Blackmon, RN, BSN, MPH announced that the Florida Department of Health (DOH) has lifted the mosquito-borne illness alert for Suwannee County. Surveillance data indicates that the risk of human infection has decreased. Although mosquito-borne illnesses are less common in the winter months, it is important that residents of Suwannee County continue to observe the proper precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes that may cause disease.

 

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



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 aren't 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 keep them 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.

REPELLENT - Apply mosquito repellent to bare skin and clothing.

Always use repellents according to the label directions. Repellents with 30 percent DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, 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. Some repellents are not suitable for children. According to the CDC, mosquito repellents containing oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under the age of three years. DEET is not recommended on children younger than two months old.

Avoid applying repellents to the hands of children. Adults should apply repellent first to their own hands and then transfer it to the child’s skin and clothing. If additional protection is necessary, apply a permethrin repellent directly to your clothing. Again, always follow the manufacturer’s directions.



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

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



DOH continues to conduct statewide surveillance for mosquito borne illnesses, including West Nile virus infections, Eastern equine encephalitis, St. Louis encephalitis, malaria, and dengue. Residents of Florida are encouraged to report dead birds via the web site for Surveillance of Wild-bird Die-offs located at http://www.myfwc.com/bird/.  For more information, visit DOH’s Environmental Public Health web site at http://www.doh.state.fl.us/Environment/medicine/arboviral/index.html or call your local county health department.