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Florida malaria cases prompt statewide health advisory

Florida malaria cases prompt statewide health advisory
Florida malaria cases prompt statewide health advisory 02:08

TALLAHASSEE - The Florida Department of Health on Monday issued a statewide "mosquito-borne illness" advisory after four cases of malaria were confirmed in Sarasota County.

Malaria is transmitted through infected mosquitoes. 

"Residents throughout the state should take precautions by applying bug spray, avoiding areas with high mosquito populations, and wearing long pants and shirts when possible — especially during sunrise and sunset when mosquitoes are most active," the advisory said. 

"The department continues to work closely with local partners and county mosquito control. Aerial and ground mosquito spraying continues to be conducted in these areas to mitigate the risk of further transmission." 

The advisory did not say when the Sarasota County cases were confirmed, but it said the four people "have been treated and have recovered." 

Symptoms of malaria include fever, chills, sweating, nausea, vomiting and headaches.

The Florida Department of Health advises the public to remain diligent in their personal mosquito protection efforts by remembering to:

•            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 and keep appropriately chlorinated. Empty plastic swimming pools when not in use.

•      Cover doors and windows with screens to keep mosquitoes out of your house.

•            Repair broken screening on windows, doors, porches, and patios.

•            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.

•            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.

Tips on repellent use:

•            Always read label directions carefully for the approved usage before you apply a repellent.

•            Apply insect repellent to exposed skin or clothing, but not under clothing.

•            Treat clothing and gear with products containing 0.5% permethrin. Do not apply permethrin directly to skin.

•            Some repellents are not suitable for children. Ensure repellent is safe for children and age appropriate: 

•            Mosquito repellents containing lemon eucalyptus oil or para-menthane-diol should not be used on children under the age of three years.

•            DEET is not recommended on children younger than two months old.

•            Avoid applying repellents to the hands of children.

•            Parents should apply repellent to their hands first and then transfer it to the child's skin and clothing.

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