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Mosquito tested in Decatur is positive for West Nile Virus

Avondale Estates Decatur

Mosquito tested in Decatur is positive for West Nile Virus

An Asian Tiger mosquito. Photo provided by Orkin.
An Asian Tiger mosquito. Photo provided by Orkin.

An Asian Tiger mosquito. Photo provided by Orkin.

This story has been updated. 

The city of Decatur reports that a sampling at a mosquito testing station in the city has tested positive for West Nile Virus.

The news comes a week after a test at the Lake Avondale station in Avondale Estates turned up a positive test result for WNV.

“While most people infected with West Nile virus have no symptoms or experience mild flu-like symptoms, the virus potentially can cause serious and sometimes fatal illness,” the announcement from the Health Department says. “The chance that any one person is going to become ill from a single mosquito bite is low. The risk of severe illness and death is highest for people over 50 years old, although people of all ages can become ill.”

The city of Decatur says it will have mosquito repellent with DEET available at the Fire Department’s First Aid Tent at the Decatur Book Festival this weekend.

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More from the Health Department:

The easiest and best way to avoid West Nile virus is to prevent mosquito bites. While the potential for WNV transmission exists throughout the metro area, this WNV positive collection does indicate a higher risk at this time in this area. Please remember to use the following precautions and remind your neighbors, friends and coworkers to do the same.

•    Apply insect repellent. DEET (N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide), picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus and IR3535 are effective repellents recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For more information, please see: http://www.cdc.gov/westnile/faq/repellent.html.

•    When possible, wear long sleeves, long pants and socks. Clothing may also be treated with permethrin.

•    Use extra care when mosquitoes are most active, particularly from dusk to dawn.

The DeKalb County Board of Health is aggressively working to prevent West Nile virus transmission. Program technicians will be in the area providing additional mosquito control services including applying larvicide and investigating for mosquito breeding sites. This will keep mosquito larvae from developing into flying biting insects.

Along with the larvicide treatment, it is important to eliminate any containers and other removable breeding sites which may hold water for five or more days. Some items such as bird baths can be dumped and rinsed twice a week, but do need continual attention. Also, gutters should be cleaned and checked to make sure they drain properly.

For more information about West Nile virus, refer to the following web sites:

•    http://www.cdc.gov/westnile/

•    http://dekalbhealth.net/envhealth/west-nile-virus/

Contact the Division of Environmental Health (404-508-7900) with any questions or concerns on this matter.

West Nile Virus was also discovered in Fulton County last year. According to the Fulton County Health Department, ““Fewer than 1 percent of people infected with West Nile Virus become ill. Those who do get sick often suffer a mild flu-like illness and recover without treatment.”

At the beginning of this summer, Atlanta-based Orkin, a pest control company, put out the rankings of America’s Top Mosquito Cities. Atlanta was at the top of the list.