Dougherty County confirms second West Nile virus case - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Dougherty County confirms second West Nile virus case

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August 29, 2006
Press Release from Dougherty County Environmental Health

ALBANY, Ga., --  A 76-year-old Dougherty County man has died from complications associated with West Nile virus (WNV). Southwest Public Health District Director, Jacqueline H. Grant, M.D., M.P.H., M.P.A., today announced that it is the State's first WNV related death and the second confirmed WNV case this year.

The first confirmed case, an adult female also a Dougherty County resident, was announced Aug. 15. "We were saddened to learn of this latest confirmation and his death," said Dr. Grant. "We would like to offer our condolence to the family."

According to health officials, the Dougherty County man presented to the emergency room with a high fever, and body aches, both of which are symptoms of West Nile virus. He died prior to receiving test results. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) maintains that 80 percent of those bitten by an infected mosquito do not exhibit signs or symptoms of the disease. However, those with compromised immune systems or other underlying conditions are at greater risk for complications from the disease.

"With two confirmed cases, one of which resulting in death, and a recent positive mosquito pool, it is imperative now more than ever that we practice mosquito breeding prevention and personal protection techniques to guard against mosquitoes," said Dr. Grant. "West Nile virus is preventable, but it is only preventable if we take the appropriate actions to reduce our chances of being bitten by a mosquito."

Health officials recommend taking the following prevention and personal protection actions to guard against mosquitoes:

1) Avoid outdoor activity at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.

2) Dress appropriately when outdoors for long periods of time or when mosquitoes are most active. Wear tightly woven light-colored clothing, long sleeves, pants, shoes, and socks when outdoors.

3) Use insect repellents with DEET as an active ingredient. Always follow the directions on the package for the safest and most effective use.

4) Eliminate standing water. Mosquitoes lay eggs and breed in areas with standing water. Clean gutters and empty accumulated water in flowerpots, old tires, and recycling bins.

5) Repair or replace all screens in your home that have tears or holes to keep mosquitoes out of your home.

Local and state public health and county officials have expanded their surveillance efforts to include mosquito trapping, larviciding, and adulticiding (spraying); and site surveillance. In addition, local public health officials will conduct an informational community meeting about WNV and mosquito control and prevention on Thursday, Aug. 31, at 6 p.m., in Room 100 of the Government Building located at 222 Pine Avenue in Albany.

For more information on WNV, please contact Dougherty County Environmental Health at 229-438-3943. Additional information on WNV and other mosquito-borne diseases may also be obtained by visiting
www.southwestgeorgiapublichealth.org.

Serving more than 300,000 southwest Georgians, Southwest Public Health District is dedicated to providing comprehensive, quality education and services to promote healthy communities. Our mission is to prevent disease, injury, and disability; promote health and well-being; and prepare for disasters.