Mosquitoes a nuisance, but also a health hazard - FOX 13 News

Mosquitoes a nuisance, but also a health hazard

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

They are more than a nuisance; they're a health hazard.

Mosquitoes are a buzz-worthy topic this season as concern grows over a disease they carry- the chikungunya virus.

According to the Center Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the chikungunya virus is an illness caused by a virus that spreads through mosquito bites. They say with 34 cases, Florida already has far moreoccurrencess than any other state. 

The most common symptoms are fever and joint pain, but others include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash.

A vaccine or preventative medicine does not currently exist for chikungunya, which is why experts at Pinellas County Mosquito Control say age-old prevention tactics against mosquito bites are especially significant now.

They suggest you get rid of all standing water where mosquitos may breed. If you have a pond, they say you should put minnows in it to eat the mosquito larvae. And the best part? You can scoop minnows out of a local lake for free.

In addition, they recommend putting a larvicide in your pond.

The experts also advise not going out at dawn or dusk if possible. If you do, they suggest wearing long sleeves, long pants, and spray on a product that contains DEET.

DEET comes in a variety of concentrations. Pick the one that is appropriate for you: 100-percent Deet for your clothes, 25-percent for trips into the woods, 15-percent for everyday activities, and five-percent for your kids.

Helpful resources from the CDC: 

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