SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) — Sarasota County health officials reported a human case of West Nile Virus in the area.
Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County issued a mosquito-borne illness advisory on Tuesday.
In a social media post, Sarasota County officials said a single confirmed case of West Nile Virus occurred in September. The patient has already been treated for their illness.
Sarasota County Mosquito Management manager, Wade Brennan, said the person is believed to be bitten in the south part of the City of Sarasota.
“We received information that this person was being under investigation earlier in September,” said Brennan.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most people infected with the virus do not experience symptoms. Others will develop a fever and may experience headaches, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or a rash.
“The birds are a reservoir of west Nile virus, and a mosquito bites and infected bird, and then it will become infected, then it will normally buy an infected bird occasionally, or in a rare basis, and made bite the human,” he said.
Brennan believes this is a lesser threat than Malaria. Over the summer, the Health Department confirmed seven cases of malaria in Sarasota County.
About 1-in-150 people who are infected with West Nile Virus develop a severe illness like encephalitis or meningitis, according to the CDC. People with weakened immune systems – such as older adults and people with certain medical conditions – are most at risk.
Sarasota County officials reminded residents to take precautions to limit exposure to mosquitos by covering exposed skin and using insect repellant when possible. Residents are urged to check their property for standing water in garbage cans, flower pots, buckets or other containers, and drain them.