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Growing concern of West Nile Virus in Collier County

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Posted at 4:28 PM, Oct 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-07 16:28:28-04

NAPLES, Fla. — On Thursday, the Florida Department of Health in Collier County says more people could be getting sick from the West Nile Virus.

Kristine Hollingsworth, Public Information Officer for the Florida Department of Health, Collier County spoke to Fox 4 about their recent uptick in human cases.

“Unfortunately this week we have three human cases of West Nile Virus,” said Hollingsworth.

In a press release, the Florida Department of Health in Collier County added, "...and there is a heightened concern additional residents will become ill."

While that number is small, it’s a considerable jump from the single case the county had just one week ago.

In response, the health department issued a county-wide mosquito-borne illness alert.

“Collier County Mosquito Control over the past few months has been testing pools of mosquitoes throughout Collier County that have tested for West Nile Virus,” said Hollingsworth.

In Lee County, the Lee County Mosquito Control District says their weekly tests also indicate the West Nile Virus is being transmitted throughout Lee County, both inland and near the shore.

In Charlotte County, a member of the Mosquito and Aquatic Weed Control told Fox 4 they do not have any positive cases or samples of West Nile in their county at this time.

Regardless of where you live, health officials want to remind people to use protective clothing and repellents outside as well as drain any standing water around their homes.

“It only takes the amount that could fill a soda top that amount of water can breed mosquitoes,” said Hollingsworth.

The health department in Collier County says they are also working with community partners to make sure people who work primarily outside- are being protected.

They say anyone experiencing symptoms such as headaches, fever, body aches, or nausea should seek medical help right away.