The public is asked to protect themselves against mosquito-borne illnesses
Submitted by Candy Sims Public Information Officer
Drain and cover — Stop mosquitoes from living and multiplying around your
home or business
BROWARD COUNTY, FL — During this most recent rainy season, officials at the Broward County Health Department are reminding the public how important it is to eliminate mosquito-breeding sources and to take precautions against mosquito bites. West Nile Virus, St. Louis Encephalitis, Eastern Equine Encephalitis and Dengue Fever are known diseases carried by mosquitoes. Taking appropriate precautions will help to prevent mosquito-borne diseases.
“We encourage the public to take precautions and to include the Drain and Cover measures in their levels of protection against mosquito-borne illnesses,” said Paula Thaqi, M.D., M.P.H, director of the Broward County Health Department.
Recommended preventive methods should include:
DRAIN standing water to stop mosquitoes from multiplying.
• Discard: Old tires, drums, bottles, cans, pots and pans, broken appliances and other items that aren’t being used.
• Empty and Clean: Bird-baths 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: The water balance (pool chemistry) of swimming pools, empty plastic swimming pools when not in use.
COVER your skin with clothing and use mosquito repellent.
• 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 DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, and IR3535 are effective. Use mosquito netting to protect children younger than 2 months.
COVER doors and windows with screens to keep mosquitoes out.
• Keep mosquitoes out of your house; repair broken screens on windows, doors, porches, and patios.
All three encephalitis strains produce the same symptoms: headache, fever, fatigue, dizziness, light sensitivity and confusion. Symptoms may vary according to the age of the patient. Infants and young children may have a fever with rash. Older children and adults may have either a mild fever or a more severe case of the disease with abrupt onset and high fever, severe headache, pain be-hind the eyes, muscle and joint pains, and rash.
People with serious health problems, infants and the elderly are most at risk. Persons experiencing these symptoms should seek medical attention. Physicians should contact the Broward County Health Department if they suspect an individual meets the case definition for a mosquito-borne disease.
For more information on mosquito-borne diseases and prevention methods, visit http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/health/mosquitoes/mosquito.htm or www.browardchd.org