TAMPA, Fla. - Hillsborough County health officials reported Tuesday a human case of the West Nile virus has been confirmed.
"There is a heightened concern additional residents may become ill," the Hillsborough County Health Department wrote in a news release.
Health officials did not specify where the virus was contracted, but are urging all residents and visitors to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes and to take precautions to limit exposure.
Symptoms of the infection can include fever, headache, body ache and nausea. West Nile virus infections may develop into a severe illness, with those over 50 particularly susceptible.
Health officials in Hillsborough County suggest taking the following precautions:
To protect yourself from mosquitoes, you should remember to "Drain and Cover":
DRAIN standing water to stop mosquitoes from multiplying.
Drain water from garbage cans, house gutters, buckets, 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 swimming pools in good condition and appropriately chlorinated. Empty plastic swimming pools when not in use.
COVER skin with clothing or repellent.
Clothing - Wear shoes, socks, and long pants and long-sleeves. This type of protection may be necessary for people who must work in areas where mosquitoes are present.
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, 2-undecanone and IR3535 are effective.
Use mosquito netting to protect children younger than 2 months old.