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Bay County Residents Urged To Protect Against Mosquito-Borne Diseases

Bay County Health Department officials want residents to take precautionary measures to avoid mosquito-borne illnesses. Officials warn recent heavy rains in the area are likely to result in increased mosquito activity over the next few weeks.

The department's Assistant Director Sandon Speedling says one way residents can avoid getting a mosquito borne-illness is to remember the phrase “Drain and Cover.”

“We’re talking about draining any standing water to stop mosquitoes from multiplying. You know, mosquitoes can hide and breed in a wide variety of areas, talking about garbage cans, house gutters, and buckets. Any container that can gather water has been collected. You want to get rid of that,” said Speedling.

The second word “Cover” means to cover skin with clothing or repellent with the chemical DEET to avoid mosquito-borne illnesses, such as West Nile Virus. This year, there’s only been one reported case of West Nile so far—in a chicken in Bay County.

Symptoms of the West Nile Virus may include headache, fever, and fatigue. Officials say the county health department should be contacted right away if someone is suspected of a mosquito-borne illness.

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.