It's West Nile season again - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

It's West Nile season again

By Jay Polk - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - For the people at Southwest Georgia Public Health, August means one thing.

"West Nile Virus," said Dr. Jacqueline Grant from Southwest Georgia Public Health.

That's because August is one of the peak months for the mosquito borne disease. For those who catch it, it can have serious consequences.

"Severe cases can result in confusion, coma, disorientation and death," said Dr. Grant.

Fortunately, West Nile Virus is not all that common in our area. "Last year we had four cases," she said.

But for public health officials, one case is too many. And with this being the rainy season, there's bound to be some standing water: the perfect breeding ground for the mosquitoes. That's where Dougherty County Mosquito Control comes in. They're on a mission.

Donnell Mathis said, "If we can be proactive we can keep them down, instead of letting them build up and causing potential problems."

And to do that, they keep these trucks running regularly. "We spray five nights a week," said Mathis.

They've already had some practice with the rains of a few months ago. "The water that we got during the Spring was a potential problem. It was probably the worst that we seen in a long time," said Mathis.

But they say that you can help them to keep the number of mosquitoes as low as possible by emptying anything that can hold water.

"Birdbaths, old tires, dog baths, flower pot trays," said Mathis. The best advice that public health officials can give is to use common sense.

Dr. Grant said, "They can make sure that they're not out during the peak biting times, dawn and dusk. Or is they have to be out, use a mosquito repellant such as DEET or oil of eucalyptus. Or wearing long sleeves."

So that you can continue to enjoy the South Georgia outdoors without having to worry about falling victim to West Nile.


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