Officials prepare for Zika, increased mosquitoes - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Officials prepare for Zika, increased mosquitoes

Exterminators expect increased mosquitoes (Source:WALB) Exterminators expect increased mosquitoes (Source:WALB)
Adams Exterminators clients are concerned with Zika (Source:WALB) Adams Exterminators clients are concerned with Zika (Source:WALB)
Public health officials say the virus causes neurological issues (Source:WALB) Public health officials say the virus causes neurological issues (Source:WALB)
Public health officials use preventative measures (Source:WALB) Public health officials use preventative measures (Source:WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

A wet winter is leaving pockets of standing water across the region. Bridges Sinyard, Vice President of Adams Exterminators, said business is good because those are the conditions mosquitoes thrive in.    


"The mosquito calls were getting have picked up significantly compared to past years," Sinyard said. "A lot of that is directly attributed to the warm winter we had."


Sinyard said his company exterminates the buzzing pests by coating shrubbery with a mixture toxic to them. 


The exterminator said it kills several types of mosquitoes, but Zika Virus is on the top of his client's minds.


"Zika Virus has been kind of paramount going into the season," Sinyard said. "We haven't seen cases in Georgia yet where we've actually had spread of the illness through mosquitoes."


Georgia Department of Public Health officials said the only cases in Georgia were brought in by people traveling abroad. Infectious Disease Program Manager Remy Hutchins said the department isn't testing bugs to see if they have the disease.


"We're not testing mosquitoes at this point in time," Hutchins said. "We know that the type of mosquito, or the vector of the Zika Virus, it can be found in Southwest Georgia."


Officials said they've found the virus causes neurological issues in both men and women. They add that their focusing on preventative measures.


"We're recommending that individuals use mosquito repellent when they're outside," Hutchins said. "If they have standing water that they can't tip, or toss, they can purchase larvacide." 


Health workers said the best way to keep from getting bit is to make sure the bugs don't get cozy at your home.

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