LAKELAND, Fla. -- A health advisory has been issued for Polk County due to a possible increase in mosquito-borne disease activity in the area.
DOH-Polk said several sentinel chicken flocks have tested positive for West Nile virus infection, meaning the risk of spreading to humans in Polk County has increased.
- A deadly mosquito-borne virus that causes brain swelling in humans has been detected in Florida
- Chickens at frontline in Florida's fight against mosquito-borne illness
To protect yourself from mosquitoes, health officials encourage Floridians to "Drain and Cover":
- 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.
You should also cover skin with clothing or repellent to avoid getting bit by the insects. Also, make sure to repair broken screening on windows, doors, porches and patios.