June 2, 2003
(Atlanta-AP) -- The state's first West Nile virus horse case has been confirmed in Tift County. There haven't been any human cases of the virus yet this year, but state health officials say six virus-infected birds have been found in Banks, Carroll, Chatham, Henry, Irvin and Liberty counties.
So far, the bird and horse cases haven't surprised health officials.
The virus is passed to humans by infected mosquitoes that have bitten diseased birds, the virus' host animal. In 2002, Georgia had 43 human cases of the virus and seven deaths from it.
Health officials said the public should empty containers filled with standing water -- a habitat for the virus-bearing mosquitoes -- and wear long-sleeved clothing and using insect repellent with the chemical DEET.
Georgia Division of Public Health: http://www.ph.dhr.state.ga.us
posted at 1:03PM by firstname.lastname@example.org
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