KEY POINTS

  • Miami-Dade County records 10 additional cases of the  illness
  • The first four cases were reported between early May and a little over the first week of June
  • Florida State Health Department issued a mosquito-borne illness alert

Florida’s Miami-Dade County is shaping up to be the hotbed of West Nile Virus after it recorded 10 additional cases, Thursday (June 25), on top of the 4 cases that were recorded about weeks ago.

Florida Department of Health has issued a mosquito-borne illness alert after the total tally jumped to 14 in 2020.

The first case of this year’s outbreak was reported on May 9, followed by another on May 27, and two more cases were reported on June 11, according to WSVN-TV. The state health department noted that all of the contractions happened due to local transmission.

The virus normally spreads to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito and most people are likely to remain asymptomatic. About one in five of those infected experience fever, with additional symptoms like headache, pain, and fatigue. People who are having mild illnesses are addressed with symptomatic treatment and typically recover in about a week. Less than 1% of infected people are likely to develop serious, sometimes fatal, illness.

Symptoms can appear anytime 2 to 14 days after having been bitten by an infected mosquito. Currently, there are no vaccines available for the virus.

At the onset of the outbreak, health officials are urging residents to remain diligent in their mosquito protection efforts, including draining standing water from garbage cans, gutters, or containers where rainwater may have collected.

People are told to wear long sleeves and pants and to use repellant on bare skin or clothing to ward off the disease-causing mosquitoes.

The virus season starts during summer and lasts through fall. The infected mosquitoes can bite anytime during the day or night. To prevent the mosquitoes from multiplying, CDC asks people to empty even small household items such as buckets, planters, toys, or birdbaths of standing water, and sleep under mosquito bed nets while outdoors or in a room that does not have screens.