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Port Charlotte, Fla.—The Florida Department of Health in Charlotte County (DOH-Charlotte) today advised residents there has been an increase in mosquito-borne disease activity in areas of Charlotte County. A human case of West Nile illness has been confirmed and there is a heightened concern additional residents will become ill.

A sentinel chicken has tested positive for West Nile virus infection. The risk of transmission to humans has increased.  Charlotte County Mosquito Control and DOH-Charlotte continue surveillance and prevention efforts.

DOH-Charlotte reminds residents and visitors to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes and to take basic precautions to help limit exposure.

The Department continues to conduct statewide surveillance for mosquito-borne illnesses, including West Nile virus infections, Eastern equine encephalitis, St. Louis encephalitis, malaria, chikungunya and dengue. Residents of Florida are encouraged to report dead birds via the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s site – http://legacy.myfwc.com/bird/default.asp. For more information, visit DOH’s website at www.floridahealth.gov/%5C/diseases-and-conditions/mosquito-borne-diseases/index.html or contact your county health department.