DELAND, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - The Florida Department of Health on Friday reported a case of the mosquito-borne West Nile virus in Volusia County.
Health officials said the patient did appear to contract the virus in the area and has since recovered. This is only the fourth confirmed case of the virus in Florida in 2017, and the first case in Volusia County since the summer of 2015. The case comes as Central Floridians decorate for the holidays; nearly in winter.
"Because of the warm weather and the wet weather, we certainly have had a lot more mosquitoes this time of year then we typically get,” said Paul Rehme from the Florida Department of Health Volusia County.
In fact, many across Central Florida report that thick swarms of mosquitoes are still out. On Friday night, large swarms were visible in the holiday lights at Uptown Altamonte, as visitors swatted the bugs away.
"I can't seem to get away from the mosquitoes,” said Jennifer McMillon. "In fact I was just sitting at the bench and there's swarms of them."
Experts said it’s not unusual for some mosquitoes to stick around and stay active through the winter, it’s Florida after all, but they said these kinds of swarms are definitely out of the ordinary.
Gabby Brizendine, with Mosquito Joe Orlando, said she’s still taking house calls to spray for large mosquito populations. She said the warm weather is certainly keeping them active, but she’s found another standing issue: hidden hurricane debris.
"Debris in gutters, clogging up drains,” said Brizendine.
She said that debris is keeping a lot of hidden standing water from draining and giving the mosquitoes space to breed in. She said even discarded logs and tree pieces can pool with water and cause problems.
Experts remind people to continue draining standing water, using bug spray, and dressing appropriately during the dawn and dusk hours to prevent getting bitten.