The three human cases are the first documented in the county in more than a decade, according to Bay County Mosquito Control’s Fred Wakefield, and have caused the two mosquito control districts to take aggressive measures.

PANAMA CITY BEACH — A third human case of a West Nile virus infection has been documented in Panama City Beach, increasing the concern about transmission.

The three human cases are the first documented in the county in more than a decade, according to Bay County Mosquito Control’s Fred Wakefield, and have caused the two mosquito control districts to take aggressive measures.

“We always have been very proactive,” said Panama City Beach Mosquito Control Public Information Officer Cindy Mulla. “But since the human cases of West Nile we have stepped up our adulticide from the ground hitting each zone twice this week.”

In addition, Beach Control did an aerial spraying Wednesday night, and in the specific area the cases originated from staff have been going door to door to talk with residents and look for standing water that might need to be addressed.

While the three cases all have been in Panama City Beach, public health officials have warned the type of mosquito that transmits West Nile, the Culex species, is capable of traveling up to 5 miles and the birds that carry West Nile can travel even farther. To be safe, Wakefield said the county also is taking additional precautions.

“We are ramping up our efforts, up our spraying with all seven trucks out and paying overtime,” Wakefield said.

Wakefield and Mulla were adamant that with the heightened concern of mosquito-borne illnesses, individuals need to take an active role in protecting themselves by using insect repellent, wearing protective clothing and emptying standing water.

“It’s our job to control the population,” Mulla said. “It’s up to the individual person to take measures for their personal protection.”

There are no vaccines or medications to treat the West Nile virus in people. Most of the time, it’s not a problem as most people with the infection won’t experience symptoms. However, according to the Centers for Disease Control, about one in five people who are infected will develop a fever and one in 150 people will develop a serious, and potentially fatal illness.

Wakefield said the amount of rain this year likely is a factor in the sudden spurt of West Nile cases.

“It’s an aggravating factor,” he said. “Mosquitoes lay eggs, and they can leave them up to 15 years before a lot of rain will activate the eggs laid in a real dry area.”

Once in water — as little as a spoon’s worth — mosquitoes will go from larvae to a biting menace in a mere three days.

The mosquitoes that carry West Nile typically are night biters.

The CDC has reported human cases of West Nile in 40 states this summer.