Man who died with West Nile in his system identified - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Man who died with West Nile in his system identified

Exterminators are spraying (Source:WALB) Exterminators are spraying (Source:WALB)
Mosquitoes can cause the illness (Source:WALB) Mosquitoes can cause the illness (Source:WALB)
Dougherty County Coroner Michael Fowler (Source: WALB) Dougherty County Coroner Michael Fowler (Source: WALB)
Bridges Sinyard, vice president (Source:WALB) Bridges Sinyard, vice president (Source:WALB)
Donell Mathis, environmental control manager (Source:WALB) Donell Mathis, environmental control manager (Source:WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

Officials have identified a man who died with the West Nile virus in his system.

Malcom Roberts, 69, died Wednesday morning. 

Dougherty County Coroner Michael Fowler tells WALB that Roberts was diagnosed with West Nile in December.

Fowler also said that Roberts had other medical ailments which were most likely the cause of Roberts' death and that it's not likely he died from the virus.

However, Fowler said that it does show that the virus is present in the area, and being transmitted to people. 

WALB will have an interview with the coroner on Wednesday.

Fowler is reporting the case to the CDC and local public health officials.

Public Health officials said it's better to prevent mosquitoes, which carry West Nile disease, from breeding, and protect yourself now. 

Mosquito increase seen in South Georgia

A number of storms and warm weather have made South Georgia an attractive place for mosquitoes. 

"Followed by the rain, we had a lot of breeding areas for mosquitoes," Adams Exterminator Vice President Bridges Sinyard said. "So, this year has been an abnormally bad year for mosquitoes compared to years of the past."

County officials are asking folks to dump any standing water that may be in their yards or in their gutters.

Environmental control managers are also out spraying at least six days a week, and treating water to kill larvae. 

"We're concerned because everyone here, who lives in Dougherty County, is a concern of ours because it is our job to keep the mosquitoes down to a level of acceptance," Dougherty County Environmental Control Manager Donell Mathis said.   

Mathis adds that, in the past, when learning about the specific location of West Nile outbreaks, public works crews have targeted those areas to keep all in the county safe.

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