FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 14, 2005
Contact: LINDSAY HODGES, (850) 245-4111
**HURRICANE DENNIS FACT SHEET*
Department of Health Urges Precautionary
Measures to Prevent West Nile Virus and Other Mosquito-Borne
TALLAHASSEE - Due to floodwaters from Hurricane
Dennis, Florida Department of Health (DOH) officials
emphasize the importance of Florida's residents and visitors
protecting themselves against mosquito-borne diseases.
DOH continues to advise the public to remain diligent in
protecting themselves from mosquito bites by following the
"5 D's," which include:
- Dusk and Dawn - Avoid being
outdoors when mosquitoes are seeking blood. For many
species, this is during the dusk and dawn hours.
- Dress -
Wear clothing that covers most of your skin.
- DEET - When
the potential exists for exposure to mosquitoes, repellents
containing DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide, or
N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide) are recommended. Picaridin
and oil of lemon eucalyptus are other repellent options. If
additional protection is necessary, a permethrin repellent
can be applied directly to your clothing. Again, always
follow the manufacturer's directions.
- Drainage - Check
around your home to rid the area of standing water, which is
where mosquitoes can lay their eggs.
Tips on Repellent Use
- Always read label directions carefully for the approved
usage before applying a repellent to skin. Some repellants
are not suitable for children.
- Products with
concentrations of up to 30 percent DEET are generally
recommended. Other potential mosquito repellents, as
reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC) in April 2005, contain picaridin or oil of lemon
eucalyptus. These products are generally available at local
pharmacies. Look for active ingredients to be listed on the
- Apply insect repellent to exposed skin, or
onto clothing, but not under clothing.
- In protecting
children, read label instructions to be sure the repellent
is age-appropriate. According to the CDC, mosquito
repellents containing oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be
used on children under the age of 3 years. DEET is not
recommended on children younger than 2 months old.
should be kept indoors or mosquito netting should be used
over carriers when mosquitoes are present.
- Avoid applying
repellents to the hands of children. Adults should apply
repellent first to their own hands and then transfer it to
the child's skin and clothing.
- If additional protection is
necessary, apply a permethrin repellent directly to your
clothing. Again, always follow the manufacturer's
Tips on Eliminating Mosquito Breeding Sites
Elimination of breeding sites is one of the keys to
- Clean out eaves, troughs and gutters.
old tires or drill holes in those used in playgrounds to
- Turn over or remove empty plastic pots.
- Pick up
all beverage containers and cups.
- Check tarps on boats or
other equipment that may collect water.
- Pump out bilges on
- Replace water in birdbaths and pet or other animal
feeding dishes at least once a week.
- Change water in plant
trays, including hanging plants, at least once a week.
Remove vegetation or obstructions in drainage ditches that
prevent the flow of water.
Symptoms of West Nile virus may include headache, fever,
fatigue, dizziness, weakness and confusion. Physicians
should contact their county health department if they
suspect an individual may have a mosquito-borne illness. DOH
laboratories provide testing services for physicians
treating patients with clinical signs of mosquito-borne
DOH continues to conduct statewide surveillance for
mosquito borne illnesses, including West Nile (WN) virus,
Eastern Equine Encephalomyelitis (EEE), St. Louis
Encephalitis (SLE), malaria and dengue. For more information
on mosquito-borne illnesses, visit DOH's Environmental
Health Web site at
call the West Nile Virus Hot line at 1-888-880-5782 or your
local county health department.
Florida Emergency Information Line: 1-800-342-3557
Public Information Emergency Support Function: