Weather raises threat of West Nile virus - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Weather raises threat of West Nile virus

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June 14, 2004

Albany -- Rising heat and recent rain are creating the perfect breeding ground for mosquitos that may carry West Nile virus. Experts are warning you to protect yourself.

Sunny, Sunday afternoons for Ernest and Angela Jones are a time to spend outside playing with their children and working in their yard. And as temperatures heat up the couple is planning to giving their children a new way to cool off.

"Yes we plan to get a pool but we want to make sure it collapses. When we are not in it, we want to make sure the water is not exposed to mosquitos," says Angela Jones.

Jones knows still water in pools can create a ideal breeding place for mosquitos that may carry West Nile.

This year's first human case of virus, in Florida, was confirmed last week. That's news was to close for comfort for Ernest Jones. He is concerned about abandoned tires, known nesting grounds for mosquitos, being dumped in the woods by his home.

"You have tires like these just sitting out collecting water. We try to keep our kids away from the tires so they won't get bitten," says Ernest Jones.

Last year, there were 50 confirmed case of West Nile virus in Georgia. 4 people died from the disease. There have been no cases this year, and experts say there are thing you can do to help yourself.

West Nile Safety Tips

  • Drain Standing Water
  • Apply Insect Repellent Containing DEET
  • Report Dead Birds to Local Authorities
  • Dead birds may be a sign that West Nile virus is circulating between birds and the mosquitoes in your an area.

Health officials also are reminding the public that mosquitos are prevalent during the summer rainy season and that everyone should cover their skin when outdoors during dusk an dawn.

updated at 9:50AM by scott.hunter@walb.com