July 20, 2005
Press Release from the South Health District
Valdosta, GA- New mosquito groups have tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in North and South Lowndes County. In addition a horse tested positive for EEE in North Lowndes County.
County commissioners were notified and spraying around those areas began immediately. Larvacide tablets have also been made available to citizens of Lowndes County that have standing water that cannot be drained.
These groups follow findings of mosquitoes with EEE and West Nile Virus (WNV) within the city limits of Valdosta in early June. Mosquito surveillance began in 2001 when WNV entered Georgia. The program in Valdosta and Lowndes County is the only remaining program of its type in the region. The surveillance program provides data on vector and virus activity to local, state and national health agencies.
There are several permanent sampling locations in Valdosta and Lowndes County, with additional collections taken from locations where there is suspicion of virus activity. Mosquitoes collected from the sites are sorted and sent to the state lab for testing.
Mosquito surveillance is the first indication that a mosquito borne illness is in the area. In addition to the mosquito surveillance and collection, we also are actively involved in dead bird surveillance, testing them for EEE and WNV as well.
The South Health District works in cooperation with the Georgia Department of Agriculture to monitor symptomatic animals and with local hospitals to do human surveillance. Throughout Georgia, Florida and Alabama, there has been an increase in EEE activity this year.
Not only is there an increase in the numbers of mosquitoes that carry this disease, there is also an increase in infected horses and humans in both Florida and Alabama. There have been no confirmed human cases of EEE in Georgia. There was one confirmed case of WNV in a 34 year old male from Paulding County.
Health officials urge citizens to take the following simple steps to prevent mosquitoes from breeding and to protect against mosquito bites:
It is still early in the mosquito-breeding season so it is very important that you teach and practice mosquito safety.
Help keep your property and family safe during the spring and summer months. “Now that we have identified these mosquito borne illnesses in South Lowndes, North Lowndes and within the city limits of Valdosta, I hope that our citizens see the urgency of personal protection,” said Lynne Feldman, MD, MPH, District Health Director.
If you have any questions about mosquito safety, please call the South Health District at 229-333-5290 or toll free at 866-801-5360.
Additional information is available at the following websites: Georgia Division of Public Health http://health.state.ga.us/epi/vbd/mosquito.asp
Just before 10:00 Saturday morning, Waycross Police responded to a wreck of a Dodge Dakota truck in the 2000 block of Plant Street.More >>
Albany police responded to the scene of a fatal shooting at June Bug's Convenience Store in the 1900 block of South Madison Street Friday night.More >>
Leesburg's beloved Police Chief, Charles Moore, lost his long fight against cancer early Sunday, according to law enforcement sources.More >>
23-year-old Jammie Davis turned himself into police, and faces felony murder charges for the death of 29-year-old Latravius Burks.More >>
Police found 26-year-old Michael Taylor shot at June Bug's Grocery store Friday night. He died shortly after. The victim's co-workers said he was always willing to lend a hand. They believe that may have cost him his life.More >>