West Nile confirmed in Mitchell County - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

West Nile confirmed in Mitchell County

September 11, 2007

Camilla-  An elderly Camilla woman remains in intensive care recovering from West Nile virus. It's the second case in south Georgia in the last two weeks.

Health officials have confirmed 18 cases in Georgia including an 82-year-old woman in Camilla, a man in Albany, and a person in Tift County.

They worry there may be more cases out there, but those infected may not realize it's West Nile.

"About 80 percent of those infected will exhibit no symptoms of West Nile Virus. About 19 to 20 percent will show mild symptoms, like flu like symptoms and less than one percent will actually have the severe complications, altered mental status, paralysis, extreme weakness meningitis type symptoms and even death," said Dr. Jacqueline Grant, Southwest Georgia Public Health District Director.

The danger could get worse with rain in the forecast. Those at most risk, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems need to protect themselves against mosquito bites. The Dougherty County Health Department will hold a workshop on West Nile Wednesday night at 6:00 p.m.

    • Ways to reduce the risk of infection from West Nile Virus include:
      • Avoid outdoor activity when mosquitoes are most active - at dawn and dusk
      • Cover exposed skin if you must be outside
      • Use insect repellent with active ingredients such as DEET, oil or lemon eucalyptus or picaridin
      • Drain standing water
      • Repair screens

For more information about West Nile virus, go online to www.southwestgeorgiapublichealth.org.

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