Health officials want residents to prepare now for mosquito-born illnesses

Health officials want residents to prepare now for mosquito-born illnesses

LOWNDES CO., Ga. (WALB) - The South Health District of the Georgia Department of Public Health is speaking out about how you can take early precautions against mosquito-born illnesses.

Since May, there have been four mosquito pools to test positive for West Nile Virus in Lowndes County.

The Public Health Department suggests that standing water be tipped over or poured out to avoid mosquito breeding grounds.

“Mosquitoes are carriers for West Nile Virus," said Kristin Patten with the South Health District.

Patten said that despite the four pools testing positive, this isn’t anything out of the ordinary for this time of year.

“If we notice more pools testing positive than average, or high quantities coming in at a certain time, we’ll send out public health notices at that point," said Patten.

Officials want everyone to know that if you haven’t begun preparing, now is the time.

“Avoid going outside during peak hours, dawn and dusk. If you are going outside, if possible, where long sleeve shirts, long pants and make sure to be wearing bug spray containing DEET," said Patten.

Valdosta City and Lowndes County officials explained what they are doing in response to the reported positive West Nile Tests.

City representative, Ashlyn Becton, said that they regularly spray for mosquitoes, use mosquito larva killers and respond to requests for these things.

“We are doing this on a routine basis, but it is something that is amplified when we get a West Nile report,” said Becton.

Lowndes County Spokesperson Paige Dukes said that they stick to the administering of the mosquito larva killer based on CDC (Centers for Disease Control) recommendations.

“They did not recommend that adulticide be sprayed because we’re so sparsely populated in the majority of the unincorporated area," said Dukes.

Both the city and county shared that for mosquito treatment, there is no cost associated with either of their programs.

For more information on those programs, you can contact them directly.

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