This press release published at the request of the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County.
The Florida Department of Health in Alachua County (FDOH-Alachua) is encouraging citizens to help prevent the spread of mosquito-borne illnesses. Florida Department of Health surveillance systems are detecting the presence of mosquito-borne viruses in Alachua County.
“The FDOH-Alachua would like to remind citizens and visitors about the importance of preventing infection from mosquito-borne diseases, as our surveillance system is detecting increased mosquito activity and the presence of Eastern Equine Encephalitis and West Nile virus,” said Anthony Dennis, Environmental Health Director, Florida Department of Health in Alachua County.
FDOH-Alachua reminds residents and visitors that mosquitoes bite day and night, and to avoid being bitten by taking precautions while engaging in outdoor summer activities like hiking, camping, biking, and fishing.
To prevent mosquito-borne diseases, they recommend citizens:
- Drain water from garbage cans, house gutters, 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 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. Repair broken screens on windows, doors, porches, and patios.
- Those who must be outside when mosquitoes are active, cover up. Wear shoes, socks, long pants, and long sleeves.
- Apply mosquito repellent to bare skin and clothing. Always use repellents according to the label. Repellents with DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, and IR3535 are effective. Use netting to protect children younger than two months.
Get more information on Mosquito-Borne Diseases.
Get more information on Eastern Equine Encephalitis.
FDOH-Alachua and local mosquito control continue surveillance and prevention efforts throughout the County. The Florida Department of Health is continuing statewide surveillance for mosquito-borne illnesses, including West Nile virus infections, eastern equine encephalitis, St. Louis encephalitis, malaria, chikungunya, and dengue.
Citizens should report mosquito problems to their municipality’s mosquito control or the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County at 352-334-7930.