West Nile Virus-carrying mosquitoes grow in Collier
NAPLES, Fla. - The population of the species of mosquito known to carry the West Nile Virus has grown in Collier County over the last week.
"Obviously we're going to try to monitor that species closely," said Frank Van Essen, executive director of the Collier County Mosquito Control District.
High concentrations of Culex quinquefasciatus, which is the scientific name for the mosquito known to carry the virus, have been spotted in the Golden Gate Estates area, Landfill Blvd, and the Naples Shores area, which is near Collier-Seminole State Park.
None of the mosquitoes tested show signs of having the West Nile Virus, but does heighten awareness of the potential dangers.
"In the last couple weeks, we've been getting a little more rain so now we're seeing the mosquito population raise."
In the State of Florida, there have been 15 cases reported in the Jacksonville area, three cases in the Pensacola area, 1 in the Tallahassee area, along with 1 near Tampa.
Officials with mosquito control are now ramping up efforts to kills off the increasing Culex quinquefasciatus population before it gets out of control.
"Just because we treat doesn't mean we can get the mosquitoes to zero."
Nationally, there have been 1,993 cases of West Nile Virus. Of that, 87 people have died after contracting the disease.
"Avoid dusk and dawn, wear light colored closing instead of dark colored clothing because mosquitoes are attracted to dark colors."
West Nile Virus usually affects those with weaken immune systems, such as the elderly.