The Florida Department of Health has confirmed our region’s first case of West Nile virus for the year.
A resident of Miami-Dade County has been diagnosed with the locally transmitted disease, officials said on Saturday.
Last year, the first case was identified in March, while the second locally acquired case was reported in August.
They did not provide additional details about the patient.
West Nile virus is the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in the continental United States. It is typically spread to people through a bite from an infected mosquito.
Most people who contract the West Nile virus do not feel symptoms. However, about one in five individuals develop symptoms like fever, headache, pain and fatigue.
Officials advise residents to drain standing water from garbage cans, house gutters or any other containers where sprinkler or rain water has collected.
In addition, they advise residents to wear long sleeves and pants, and to use repellent on bare skin and clothing.
As far as infection, West Nile Virus is not spread through coughing, sneezing, or touching, or by touching live animals.
The health department further explains that it is not spread by handling live or dead infected birds, although they do caution people to avoid bare-handed contact when handling any dead animal.
There are currently no vaccines to prevent or medications to treat the virus in people.
For more information on the virus, click here.