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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county & community efforts.

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Mosquito-borne Illness

Florida Department of Health in Martin County

Image of Mosquitos

Mosquito-borne diseases are those spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. Diseases that are spread to people by mosquitoes may be caused by a virus, also known as arboviruses, or can be caused by parasites. Several of the mosquito species found in Florida are capable of transmitting diseases to humans, horses, and other animals. Symptoms of these illnesses can range from mild to very severe.

Mosquito-borne diseases found in Florida include West Nile virus disease, Eastern equine encephalitis, and St. Louis encephalitis. Many other mosquito-borne diseases are found in different parts of the world and can be brought back to Florida if infected people or animals are bitten by mosquitoes while in Florida. Some examples of these diseases include chikungunya fever, dengue fever, malaria, yellow fever, and Rift Valley fever.

The Epidemiology Team investigates every suspect and confirmed case of reportable mosquito-borne diseases. We work with Martin County Mosquito Control to limit the spread and prevent spread of imported or locally-acquired mosquito-borne diseases.

Prevention:

DRAIN: water from garbage cans, house gutters, pool covers, coolers, toys, flower pots or any other containers where sprinkler or rain water 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.

CLOTHING: If you must be outside when mosquitoes are active, cover up. Wear shoes, socks, long pants, and long sleeves.

REPELLENT: 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 2 months. EPA guidelines and selecting a repellent that is right for you: Insect Repellents: Use and Effectiveness.