Wednesday, December 2, 2020

The Ubiquitous Mosquito, Not Just A Pest

 

 

Collier: There is no escaping the large numbers of mosquitoes this summer, regardless of where you live in Collier County. The blood seekers are a nuisance to say the least; however, out of 42 different types of mosquitoes in SW Florida, only a few have the potential to carry disease.

One of those species of concern is Culex nigripalpus, a fresh water species, which is occurring in large numbers in several locations in the county, especially in the following areas: Eastern Golden Gate Estates, Immokalee, Ave Maria, Collier County Landfill and Auto Ranch Road. “Thanks to the surveillance capabilities of the Collier Mosquito Control District, we have been notified, as of this week, they are identifying significantly larger numbers of Culex nigripalpus mosquitoes. This species is capable of carrying West Nile Virus(WNV). WNV hospitalized two of our residents last year and sadly, one of these individuals ended up dying. I urge residents and visitors to take mosquito precautions seriously,” explains, Collier County Health Department Director, Dr. Joan Colfer.

Another mosquito-borne disease is Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), which is primarily a disease of horses, but is also a serious threat to humans. Last year, four horses in Collier County had to be euthanized due to contracting EEE. There is a vaccine available for horses but not for humans.

Because of the potential occurrence of these diseases, the Collier County Health Department and the Collier Mosquito Control District would like to remind local residents that it is important to practice the 5 Ds of personal protection: avoid Dusk and Dawn, when mosquitoes are the most active; Dress appropriately by wearing long pants, a long sleeve shirt, shoes and socks; Drain artificial containers which hold water and will produce mosquitoes; and use repellent containing the active ingredient DEET. For more information on mosquito-borne illnesses, and mosquito control treatment schedules visit: The Collier Mosquito Control District website at: www.CMCD.org DOH’s Environmental Health web site at www.doh.state.fl.us/Environment/medicine/arboviral/index.html or call the Collier County Health Department at239-252-8226. For a two-page Mosquito-borne Disease in Florida Fact sheet describing the transmission cycle, symptoms of illness and mosquito-borne disease prevention go to www.doh.state.fl.us/Environment/medicine/arboviral/pdfs/EducationalMaterials/Arbo_factsheet_Color_Eng.pdf

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