First human case of West Nile Virus in Bay County resident

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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Summer is almost over, but mosquitoes continue to hover across the area. Now the Florida Health Department in Bay County is warning residents of an increase in mosquito-borne illnesses.

The first human case of West-Nile virus in 2019 was confirmed in a Bay County resident this past week. Now experts say this is partially due to an increase in standing water stemming from an increase in rainfall levels.

During these summer months, an increase in humidity and precipitation has led to a rise in the mosquito count. Completely funded by tax dollars, Cindy Mulla from Beach Mosquito Control says families can help lower the mosquito population by taking a few simple steps around their home.

“Preventative measures you could take would be going around your home or business weekly, looking for standing water. It just takes a small tablespoon of water and you are raising mosquitoes in your home,” said Mulla.

They advise residents to also keep their grass short. Experts attribute the increased numbers partly to Hurricane Michael.

“Reason being is it created more habitats for these mosquitoes. We have more ruts from the fallen trees, more tree holes, more ruts from construction, and uprooted trees that are all habitats that mosquitoes love to lay their eggs naturally,” said Mulla.

Heather Kretzer, a spokeswoman for the The Bay County Health Department said there are typically no symptoms when someone contracts the West Nile virus.

“Again the risk for anyone developing any symptoms for west nile is very small. And the risk for developing major symptoms is small too. In order to avoid it is to take those precautions and to cover your skin, either with clothing or mosquito repellent,” said Kretzer.

For more information on how to contact mosquito control in your area, go to, http://www.Pcbeachmosquito.Org/

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