JACKSONVILLE — Two more human cases of the West Nile Virus were reported in Jacksonville. That makes 10 total cases in Duval County reported this year. A doctor is urging everyone not to be afraid but to be aware.
Dr. Mobeen Rathore was asked what caused increased awareness over the disease.
"It's an unusual, uncommon infection, and it sounds exotic when you say West Nile virus, people remember that and frankly it's a disease where you don't know who has it, and when someone gets sick and tested for it, it makes the news," Dr. Rathore said.
Dr. Rathore is a professor and Chief of Infectious Disease at UF Health Jacksonville.
Dr. Rathore says people suffering from West Nile virus can experience flu-like symptoms.
“It’s very similar to the flu, which is much more common in this time of the year,” Dr. Rathore said.
He says it's rare that someone becomes seriously ill.
"Putting it into perspective, it's not as serious of an illness, people should be more concerned about getting flu then West Nile virus," Dr. Rathore adds.
No vaccine for the virus is available and only supportive treatment can help minimize its effects when cases are severe.
Dr. Rathore says the best way to prevent a West Nile Virus infection is to prevent mosquito bites, drain standing water around your home or business, and cover your skin during times when mosquitoes are active.
"The best thing is to prevent mosquito bites, and the best thing to prevent that is don't provide mosquitoes an opportunity to breed," Dr. Rathore said.
More information on West Nile virus could be found on the Florida Health Department’s website.