Residents urged to guard against mosquitoes after Villager dies of West Nile Virus

Residents of The Villages are being urged to protect themselves against mosquitoes after the death of a Villager from West Nile Virus.

The death of the 74-year-old resident of the Village of Fenney was discussed at Friday’s meeting of the Community Development District 6 Board of Supervisors. Board Chairman John Calandro referenced a widely circulated email about the Villager’s death.

Last month, the Sumter County Health Department would not confirm the Villager’s death.

Fenney Springs Nature Trail sign

“Unfortunately, we can’t release any confidential information about the cases we investigate. This would be a violation of the individual’s HIPAA privacy rights. Those are rights that we take very seriously,” Daniel Chacreton, Operations & Management Consultant Manager with the health department, said in response to questions from Villages-News.com. 

There had been no official confirmation of the West Nile Virus death until Friday’s CDD 6 meeting.

Residents of the Village of Fenney are reportedly concerned about the Villager’s death, particularly because Fenney is surrounded by marshes, terrific habitat for breeding mosquitos. The newest Village in that area is the Village of Marsh Bend.

Nature along the trail at Fenney in The Villages.
Village of Marsh Bend

District officials on Friday noted it has not been determined where the deceased man contracted West Nile Virus, whether it was here or elsewhere.

A meeting about mosquito control efforts is set for 6 to 8 p.m. March 12 at Truman Recreation Center. It is open to the public.

Officials are urging residents to protect themselves from mosquitos.

The Sumter County Health Department supplied these mosquito prevention tips.

Mosquito Bite Prevention Tips

Drain standing water to stop mosquitoes from multiplying.

•  Drain water from garbage cans, house gutters, buckets, pool covers, coolers, toys, flower pots or any other containers where sprinkler or rain water has collected.

•  Discard old tires, drums, bottles, cans, pots and pans, broken appliances and other items that aren’t being used.

• Empty and clean birdbaths and pet’s water bowls at least once or twice a week.

•  Protect boats and vehicles from rain with tarps that don’t accumulate water.

  Maintain swimming pools in good condition and appropriately chlorinated. Empty plastic swimming pools when not in use.

Cover skin with clothing or repellent.

    • Clothing – Wear shoes, socks, and long pants and long-sleeves. This type of protection may be necessary for people who must work in areas where mosquitoes are present.
  • Repellent – Apply mosquito repellent to bare skin and clothing.

Tips on Repellent Use

    • Always read label directions carefully for the approved usage before you apply a repellent. Some repellents are not suitable for children.
    • Products with concentrations of up to 30 percent DEET (N, N-diethyl-m-toluamide) are generally recommended. Other U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-approved repellents contain picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-methane-diol, or IR3535. These products are generally available at local pharmacies. Look for active ingredients to be listed on the product label.
    • Apply insect repellent to exposed skin, or onto clothing, but not under clothing.
    • In protecting children, read label instructions to be sure the repellent is age-appropriate. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mosquito repellents containing oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children under the age of three years. DEET is not recommended on children younger than two months old.
    • Avoid applying repellents to the hands of children. Adults should apply repellent first to their own hands and then transfer it to the child’s skin and clothing.
  • If additional protection is necessary, apply a permethrin repellent directly to your clothing. Again, always follow the manufacturer’s directions.

Cover doors and windows with screens to keep mosquitoes out of your house.

  • Repair broken screening on windows, doors, porches and patios.