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Leon County Confirms Second West Nile Virus Case

The Florida Department of Health has issued a mosquito-borne illness alert for Leon County. Health officials have confirmed a second case of the West Nile Virus—this time, in a homeless man.

“Basically, we have an individual, 60-years-old who traveled between Leon County and Wakulla County, and at the time, was homeless and sleeping outside, who came down, and was diagnosed with West Nile Virus," said Leon County Health Department Administrator Homer Rice.

"He was hospitalized at Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare and is currently recovering.”

Rice says the man contracted the virus in October. Leon County’s first case was confirmed in August for a person who was a Leon County resident, but may have been infected in Jefferson.

Rice says additional residents in both counties could also be at risk, even with the much cooler temperatures.

“Now, the risk is lower because there aren’t as many mosquitoes," remarked Rice. "They overwinter in a sort of hibernation state. So, hopefully, the mosquito populations has dropped enough where we’re not going to have any more issues. But, this just serves to remind us all mosquitoes are still out there and the virus itself is still out there.”

Symptoms of the West Nile Virus may include headaches, fever, and dizziness. Residents are urged to cover skin with repellent containing DEET, make sure all doors and window screens are not damaged, and drain standing water to stop mosquitoes from multiplying.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on twitter @SaschaCordner.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.