Baker's dozen counties get mosquito declaration - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Baker's dozen counties get mosquito declaration

By Delivrine Registre - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Thirteen more counties are now under a state of emergency because of an over-population of mosquitoes.

Health officials in the district headquartered in Albany declared the emergency because they're concerned about mosquito-borne viruses spreading.

The standing water left over by the recent heavy rainfall is now the breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Several mosquito-borne viruses circulate in Georgia every year and those diseases are capable of making humans and other animals sick.

The most common being West Nile virus. And although those diseases have been detected in our area, the increased mosquito populations increases the exposure to residents making the potential for disease transmission higher. 

"Dougherty County was hit with 20 to 25 inches of rain just with the recent flooding," said Dr. Jacqueline Grant, SWGA Public Health Director. "And they've had a total of 200 percent increase in complaints. The vector control spraying has now been ramped up to seven days a week."

This declaration allows every county effected to apply for federal aid to help pay for all of this additional spraying.

All of the counties served under the Southwest Georgia Health district is now under that state of emergency declaration except for Terrell County.

Homeowners can do their part by dumping out any standing water around their properties.

That includes empty flower pots, bird baths, and any old tires you may have on your property.

Health officials also recommend that you stay indoors during dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.

They also say you should wear pants and long sleeves or use insect repellant with DEET if you don't.

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