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Monday, September 27, 2021

Three people sick with West Nile in Alachua County

Three people have come down with the West Nile virus in Alachua County.

The Alachua County Health Department announced Tuesday it will conduct investigations of the cases. It did not release the conditions of the people sick with the virus.

West Nile appeared in the county in September when two chickens tested positive for the disease. Later that month, the department announced more fowl and a horse had the virus, too.

As of Nov. 6, 58 cases of West Nile occurred in Florida, causing two deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nationwide, there have been 5,054 cases and 228 deaths.

Alachua County still has a mosquito-borne illness advisory.

The county health department urges residents to stay calm but to be prepared. It encourages residents to cover up with bug spray and long sleeves and to drain standing water.

Symptoms of the virus include fever, headaches, fatigue, rashes and swollen lymph nodes, according to the CDC.

“Although cooler weather has reduced mosquito activity, the risk of disease transmission to humans continues,” Paul Myers, Alachua County Health Department administrator, said in a press release. “Citizens are encouraged to protect themselves against exposure to mosquitoes.”

Contact Meredith Rutland at mrutland@alligator.org.

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