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Central Florida officials prepare for mosquito season amid Dengue Fever outbreak in Puerto Rico

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ELEVATED LEVELS OF DENGUE FEVER HAVE HEALTH OFFICIALS IN PUERTO RICO DECLARING AN EMERGENCY FEVER, AS WELL AS MUSCLE AND JOINT PAIN, ARE SERIOUS ISSUES FOR PEOPLE WHO GET IT. DENGUE FEVER IS SPREAD BY MOSQUITOES, AND WE MOST CERTAINLY HAVE ISSUES WITH THOSE BITING NUISANCES HERE IN CENTRAL FLORIDA. OF COURSE, WESH TWO'S DAVE MCDANIEL LOOKS AT THE LEVEL OF MOSQUITOES WE'RE SEEING AFTER PERIODS OF WARM AND WET THIS PAST WINTER. TO FIGURE OUT WHAT THEY'RE UP AGAINST. MOSQUITO CONTROL SETS OUT TRAPS IN AREAS WHERE MOSQUITOES WOULD BE EXPECTED SO FAR IN 2024. OUR TRAP COUNTS ARE CERTAINLY HIGHER THIS YEAR, EVEN COMPARED TO LAST YEAR DUE TO OUR WARM, WET WINTER. NORMALLY, THEY WOULD NOT EVEN TRAP IN JANUARY. TOO COLD, BUT THIS YEAR, SEMINOLE COUNTY TRAPPED 7000 MOSQUITOES IN JANUARY. JUST UNDER 5000 IN FEBRUARY, AND 10,000 IN MARCH. THE COUNTY'S ALREADY FOGGING REGULARLY. WE STARTED IN JANUARY. WE FOGGED IN FEBRUARY, UM, AND WE'RE CONTINUING TO FOG THROUGH MARCH. CHICKENS ARE LIKE OUR FRONT LINE DEFENSE. SEMINOLE COUNTY HAS ITS CHICKEN FLOCKS OUT NOW. CHICKENS CAN TELL US A LOT. BITTEN BY A DISEASE MOSQUITO, THEY IMMEDIATELY DEVELOP ANTIBODIES SO THEY DON'T GET SICK. BUT THOSE ANTIBODIES TELL US WHAT MOSQUITO BORNE DISEASES MIGHT BE AROUND THEIR ARE NO REPORTED CASES LOCALLY AT THIS POINT. MOSQUITOES MULTIPLY IN PONDS AND DITCHES AND STREAMS, BUT THEY ALSO MULTIPLY IN POTTED PLANTS AROUND YOUR HOUSE, MEANING YOU NEED TO BE PROACTIVE AND CONTAINERS AROUND YOUR HOUSE DUMP THE WATER OUT AFTER A RAIN, EMPTY THEM OUT, EMPTY THEM OUT. FLUSH IT OUT. IF IT'S A PLANT, FLUSH IT OUT. EVERY COUPLE OF DAYS. THE LOCAL FORECAST FOR WEDNESDAY HAS SOME RAIN IN IT. JONES, SKEETER FORECAST FOR 2024. WITH US BEING WET AND THIS WARM THROUGH THE THE WINTER, I WILL BE BUSY THIS SUMMER. IT'S GOING TO BE A LOT. THEY PLEDGED TO BE READY IN SEMINOLE COUNTY. DAVE MCDANIEL WESH TWO NEWS. ALL RIGHT. WE GOT THIS STATEMENT FROM THE FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH. QUOTE, PREVENTING MOSQUITO BITES IS THE BEST WAY TO REDUCE THE RISK OF MOSQUITO BORNE DISEASE. THE DEPARTMENT ENCOURAGES DRAIN AND COVER PRACTICES, WHICH INCLUDE EMPTYING STANDING WATER FROM OUTDOOR ITEMS AND COVERING YOUR SKIN WITH LONG PANTS AND LONG SLEEVES. WHEN MOSQUITOES ARE MOST ACTIVE, AND MOSQUITO CONTROL WILL TELL YOU NOT TO SUFFER IN SILENCE. IF YOU HAVE ISSUES IN YOUR

Central Florida officials prepare for mosquito season amid Dengue Fever outbreak in Puerto Rico

Right now, Puerto Rico is dealing with an unusually large number of people suffering with Dengue Fever. Here in Central Florida, to best figure out what they're up against, mosquito control offices set out traps in areas where mosquitoes would be expected. "Trap counts are certainly higher than this year, even compared with last year, due to our warm, wet winter," Theressa Jones said about Seminole County. Normally, officials would not even trap in January since it is too cold, but this year, Seminole County trapped 7,000 mosquitoes in January, just under 5,000 in February, and 10,000 in March. The county's already fogging to control adult mosquitoes regularly."We started in January, we fogged in February, and we're continuing to fog through March," Jones said.Now, Seminole County has its chicken flocks out now since they can tell us a lot. Bitten by a diseased mosquito, chickens immediately develop antibodies so they don't get sick, but those antibodies tell us what mosquito-borne diseases might be around.There are no reported cases locally at this point. Mosquitoes multiply in ponds, ditches and streams, but they also multiply in potted plants around your house, meaning you need to be proactive.If you have any containers around your house, dump the water out after it rains."Empty it out, empty it out, flush it out, if it's a plant, flush it out every couple of days," Jones said. The local forecast for Wednesday has some rain in it."For us being this wet and this warm throughout the winter, we're going to be busy this summer; it's going to be a lot," Jones said about the mosquito forecast. But they pledge to be ready.In a statement, the Florida Department of Health told WESH 2: "The Florida Department of Health (Department) works year-round to monitor, report and provide public notification regarding mosquito-borne diseases in Florida. Preventing mosquito bites is the best way to reduce the risk of mosquito-borne disease. The department encourages drain and cover practices, which include emptying standing water from outdoor items and covering your skin with long pants and long sleeves when mosquitos are most active."

ORLANDO, Fla. —

Right now, Puerto Rico is dealing with an unusually large number of people suffering with Dengue Fever.

Here in Central Florida, to best figure out what they're up against, mosquito control offices set out traps in areas where mosquitoes would be expected.

"Trap counts are certainly higher than this year, even compared with last year, due to our warm, wet winter," Theressa Jones said about Seminole County.

Normally, officials would not even trap in January since it is too cold, but this year, Seminole County trapped 7,000 mosquitoes in January, just under 5,000 in February, and 10,000 in March.

The county's already fogging to control adult mosquitoes regularly.

"We started in January, we fogged in February, and we're continuing to fog through March," Jones said.

Now, Seminole County has its chicken flocks out now since they can tell us a lot. Bitten by a diseased mosquito, chickens immediately develop antibodies so they don't get sick, but those antibodies tell us what mosquito-borne diseases might be around.

There are no reported cases locally at this point.

Mosquitoes multiply in ponds, ditches and streams, but they also multiply in potted plants around your house, meaning you need to be proactive.

If you have any containers around your house, dump the water out after it rains.

"Empty it out, empty it out, flush it out, if it's a plant, flush it out every couple of days," Jones said.

The local forecast for Wednesday has some rain in it.

"For us being this wet and this warm throughout the winter, we're going to be busy this summer; it's going to be a lot," Jones said about the mosquito forecast.

But they pledge to be ready.

In a statement, the Florida Department of Health told WESH 2:

"The Florida Department of Health (Department) works year-round to monitor, report and provide public notification regarding mosquito-borne diseases in Florida. Preventing mosquito bites is the best way to reduce the risk of mosquito-borne disease. The department encourages drain and cover practices, which include emptying standing water from outdoor items and covering your skin with long pants and long sleeves when mosquitos are most active."

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