West Central Florida county health departments are emphasizing the importance for Florida’s residents and visitors to protect themselves against mosquito-borne diseases.
The department also encourages the public to remain diligent in preventative measures, such as “Drain and Cover,” according to a Department of Health (DOH)-Pasco County news release.
The DOH continues to conduct statewide surveillance for mosquito-borne illnesses, including the West Nile Virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis, St. Louis Encephalitis, Malaria, and Dengue, the release said.
The health department offers these tips, in the fight against illnesses.
Drain standing water to stop mosquitoes from multiplying
- Drain water from garbage cans, house gutters, buckets, pool covers, and other containers where sprinkler or rainwater has collected.
- Discard old tires, drums, bottles, cans, pots, pans, or other items that aren’t being used.
- Empty birdbaths and pet 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 chlorinate appropriately. Empty plastic swimming pools.
Cover skin with clothing or repellent
- Wear shoes, socks, long pants and long sleeves. This type of protection may be necessary for people who work in areas where mosquitoes are present.
- Apply mosquito repellent to bare skin and clothing. Always use repellent according to the label. Repellents with DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, 2-undecanone, and IR3535 are effective. Some repellents are not suitable for children. Use mosquito netting to protect children younger than 2 months old.
To determine which repellent is right for you, use the U.S. Environmental Agency’s search tool at cfpub.epa.gov/oppref/insect/#searchform, for skin-applied repellent products.
For more information or questions, contact your county health department. DOH-Pasco can be reached at 727-619-0300.
Published June 15, 2022