JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Three more cases of West Nile Virus in humans were reported in Florida, adding to the 11 cases in Duval County. Meanwhile, the city's mosquito control division continues to work hard to control mosquitoes.
This past weekend, Duval County was the only county in the state with confirmed cases of West Nile in humans, but 2 cases have now been reported in Escambia County, which is in the Pensacola area. One case was reported in the Tallahassee area.
Duval County Health Department spokesman Charles Griggs said the department is not discussing locations where people contracted West Nile in Duval County because there have been no significant trends or clustering activity, and they want the entire community to take precautions as it relates to the spread of the West Nile Virus.
Richard Zimmerman, who lives in the Beauclerc area, is concerned. A foreclosed home abandoned is next door to him and the pool in the back yard has standing water.
"I am concerned about mosquito infestation and West Nile. There are a lot of children in the area. A lot of people spend time outdoors. Something needs to be done."
He's reported it to the city. Mosquito control will take a look at abandoned pools and check if mosquitoes are breeding, but must first get permission to go on private property. They work with code enforcement to do that.
Meanwhile, mosquito control has continued to ramp up efforts to control mosquitoes.
"Overall, our numbers are up because the rain has provided standing water for mosquitoes to breed," said Richard Smith, superintendent at the Mosquito Control Division. "It began to increase after the storms in June and continues."
"We have 47 different types of mosquitoes in Jacksonville," said entomologist Marah Clark. "Not all of those are West Nile vectors and not all of those will bite humans."
Clark is gathering trapped mosquitoes that could spread the virus and sending them to a lab to see if they contain the virus.
If so, they will make sure they spray where those came from.
Smith urges homeowners to empty containers around their homes that contain fresh water, especially after every afternoon thunderstorm we have had lately.
"Those containers can breed a lot of mosquitoes that can come into your home and you'll notice them right around your house."
The city has been getting several service requests from area residents each day about mosquito problems where they live. Crews go out each day to spray as well as search for areas where mosquitoes are breeding. Four to six trucks are out in the evening spraying in neighborhoods and there is aerial spraying in the morning hours.
First Coast News