FORD COUNTY – In a concerning development, the Ford County Public Health Department (FCPHD) has confirmed the discovery of two birds in the region that tested positive for the West Nile virus. This marks an urgent call to action for residents to exercise caution and increase preventive measures.
The West Nile virus, primarily transmitted through mosquito bites, can pose significant health risks. As such, the FCPHD advises the community to practice the three essential “R’s”: Reduce, Repel, and Report.
- Reduce exposure: Limit outdoor activities during peak mosquito hours, particularly between dusk and dawn. Ensure that homes are well-protected with tight-fitting screens on doors and windows. Regularly inspect and mend any screens with openings. Additionally, be vigilant about eliminating potential breeding grounds by draining stagnant water sources, such as bird baths, flowerpots, and old tires.
- Repel mosquitoes: Whenever outdoors, residents are encouraged to wear protective clothing, including shoes, socks, long pants, and long-sleeved shirts. Using insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus is highly recommended. Infants’ guardians should consult with physicians before applying any repellents.
- Report potential hazards: If you identify any stagnant water areas, especially in roadside ditches or flooded yards, promptly report them to municipal authorities to ensure swift action.