Diseases from fleas, ticks and mosquitoes increasing in South GA

Diseases from fleas, ticks and mosquitoes increasing in South GA
Fleas, Ticks and Mosquitoes are becoming more infected this season. (Source: WALB)
The Southwest Georgia Public Health District is monitoring all insects in the area to ensure safety for everyone. (Source: WALB)
The Southwest Georgia Public Health District is monitoring all insects in the area to ensure safety for everyone. (Source: WALB)
Health officials say children and older adults are more at risk for diseases carried by insects. (Source: WALB)
Health officials say children and older adults are more at risk for diseases carried by insects. (Source: WALB)

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The Centers for Disease Control said illnesses from mosquitoes, ticks and flea bites are increasing in the U.S.

Over a half a million people have gotten severely sick in recent years from the insects and now it's raising concerns for health officials in South Georgia.

The Southwest Georgia Public Health District is working to keep people safe as it could possibly get worse.

Insects like fleas, ticks and mosquitoes are most known for carrying diseases in hotter months and these infected insects and the germs they carry are increasing.

"It's always a public health risk to be concerned with each and every summer and that's why we encourage people to practice personal protective measures," said Justin Smith, the environmental health director of the Southwest Georgia Public Health District.

Fleas, ticks and mosquitoes might be tiny but if they're infected, the germs they carry can infect many humans with deadly diseases.

"We see of course Triple E, chikungunya, Zika virus, West Nile and Lyme disease are some of the most commonly transmitted diseases that we find," said Smith.

Jay Smith, a resident in South Georgia, has a grandchild and says this has him concerned for his family and other small children.

"We have to be concerned for small children because they don't know what they're getting into, or what the potential for danger is," said Jay.

The Southwest Georgia Public Health District said although the hot weather just arrived in South Georgia, they've already had two cases of severe Lyme disease. Both cases coming from people who were out in wooded areas. And they're not the only ones at risk.

"We typically see the most serious health risk with the very old, the very young or those who have pre-existing conditions," explained Justin.

So it's important for all ages to wear long sleeves and have the right sprays.

"We have the yard spray for mosquitoes. We have pest control every month," said Jay.

Right now the official with the Public Health District is working with local cities to keep people and all outside areas safe.

The Southwest Georgia Public Health District's epidemiologist said that during the summer, if you have any symptoms like dizziness, stiff joints or flu like symptoms, it's important for you to go to the doctor immediately, as you could have a disease carried by insects.

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