September 13, 2005
from SW Ga. Public Health
ALBANY, Ga., -- The Georgia Division of Public Health has confirmed that a mosquito pool in Dougherty County tested positive for West Nile Vvirus. This is the first time West Nile has been identified in Dougherty County this year. To date, no human infections of West Nile have been identified in the Southwest Health District.
West Nile virus is a potentially serious mosquito-transmitted arbovirus disease that can cause illness or death. Most people who are infected with the disease do not have symptoms. Others may experience mild or flu-like symptoms such as headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, swollen lymph glands, and rash.
A small number of people infected may develop serious illnesses like meningitis (swelling of the membrane surrounding the spinal cord) or encephalitis (swelling of the brain).
"We are moving into a time of year when we can expect more mosquitoes, and thus a higher risk of mosquito borne disease," said Susan Reyher, Director, Dougherty County Environmental Health. "Personal protection steps are even more important now than they have been due to the season and the knowledge that one pool of mosquitoes has tested positive for West Nile virus."
Residents of Dougherty County can also significantly reduce the number of mosquitoes around their homes, and their risk of contracting a mosquito-borne illness by practicing a few simple mosquito prevention and control techniques.
Such measures should be taken to lessen the number of mosquitoes around your home:
· Avoid shaded, bushy areas where mosquitoes like to rest
· Wear protective clothing especially at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active
· Limit outdoor evening activity
· Wear a mosquito repellant that contains DEET or Picaridin.
The Southwest Health District is dedicated to providing comprehensive, quality education and services throughout Southwest Georgia to promote and preserve the health and well being of its citizens and communities.
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