The best way to reduce the risk of mosquito-borne diseases like the Zika virus is to prevent mosquito bites.
The Florida Department of Health offers the following tips:
- Drain water from garbage cans, standing water from birdbaths, garbage cans, and other containers that can collect water, gutters, 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 pets' water bowls at least once or twice a week.
- Protect boats and vehicles from rain with tarps that don't accumulate water.
- Maintain screened entry ways to keep mosquitoes out; the water balance (pool chemistry) of swimming pools. Empty plastic swimming pools when not in use. Repair broken screens on windows, doors, porches, and patios.
- Wear shoes, socks, long pants, and long sleeves — cover up if you need to go outside when mosquitoes are active.
- Apply repellent to bare skin and clothing. Always use repellents according to the label. Repellents with DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, para-menthane-diol, and IR3535 are effective. Use netting to protect children younger than 2 months.
For more information:
- Florida Zika Virus Information Hotline: 1-855-622-6735
The Zika Virus hotline is managed by the Florida Department of Health to answer questions from residents and travelers on the Zika virus and the state’s preparedness efforts.