The Florida Department of Health confirmed a case of human West Nile in Santa Rosa County Friday, Aug. 19.
There is risk of spread of the mosquito-born virus in the county according to a department press release, and residents are advised to drain all standing water and cover skin with clothing and mosquito repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, or IR3535.
West Nile virus is spread through the bite of mosquitoes, similar to Zika. Symptoms include fever, head and body aches, rash and swollen lymph nodes. In the more rare severe cases people experience stiffness, paralysis, sleepiness, disorientation, coma, convulsions and tremors.
Because the majority of cases have mild symptoms, they go unreported. The virus can kill local birds, and residents are asked to report dead birds to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.