West Nile Virus is an Annual Threat in Jacksonville
Mosquitoes are the most deadly animal on Earth. They carry dangerous diseases that can even be deadly. While the most dangerous like Malaria are not a local threat, there are mosquito-borne diseases in Florida. West Nile Virus in Jacksonville is one of those mosquito-borne diseases to keep an eye on. While it is rare, it is dangerous and can even be deadly. What do you need to know?
What is West Nile Virus?
West Nile Virus (WNV) is a disease transmitted to humans and other mammals by the bite of an infected mosquito. The virus is common in birds, who often pass the virus to the mosquitoes, beginning a cycle between birds and mosquitoes that can spread. While birds can infect mosquitoes, mammals are a ‘dead end’ vector, meaning mosquitoes do not get WNV from infected mammals.
West Nile Virus Symptoms
According to the CDC, only about 20-30% of people infected with West Nile Virus will develop symptoms.
About 20% will develop febrile illness, which looks much like the flu. Symptoms can include:
Neurological illnesses such as encephalitis or meningitis can occur in less than 1% of people infected with West Nile Virus. Symptoms can include a headache, high fever, stiff neck, disorientation, coma, tremors, seizures, or paralysis. Serious illness can happen to anyone, but the greatest risk for neurological illness from West Nile Virus is in people 60 or over, or with certain medical conditions such as diabetes, cancer, kidney disease, hypertension, or recent organ transplant recipients.
About 10% of people with neuroinvasive West Nile Virus will die.
West Nile Virus in Florida
Cases of West Nile Virus vary year to year. The CDC and the Florida Department of Health keep surveillance of the disease in humans and birds. Should positive test results spike, they can then warn the public to be extra vigilant in their Jacksonville mosquito control methods.
While 2014 and 2015 both saw about 12 neuroinvasive cases of West Nile Virus in Florida and less than six cases of WNV illness, the CDC reported a high of 94 cases in 2003 and 73 in 2012. As each year the threat of West Nile Virus varies, we keep watch on the numbers to help keep you informed.
West Nile Virus Prevention
Preventing mosquito bites is the best way to lower your risk for mosquito-borne diseases, like West Nile Virus in Jacksonville. With almost year-round mosquito season, it is vital to protect yourself when outdoors so you can take full advantage of Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra’s stunning landscapes and outdoor activities. When out and about, camping, hiking, and enjoying untreated areas such as parks and beaches, use mosquito repellent on all exposed skin. At home, enjoy spontaneous outdoor fun without the hassle with Mosquito Squad’s mosquito barrier treatment on your property. We’ll eliminate 85-90% of mosquitoes from your yard, treating every 3 weeks to keep the mosquitoes away.