Mosquito tests positive for West Nile virus in DecaturA mosquito. Photo illustration. Source: Wikimedia commons
The DeKalb County Board of Health says a mosquito collected at the board’s Decatur sampling station has tested positive for West Nile Virus.
“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,” an alert from the Health Board 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 best way to avoid contracting the virus is to guard against 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,” the alert says. “Please remember to use the following precautions and remind your neighbors, friends and coworkers to do the same.”
The Health Board recommends:
– Applying 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:
– 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.
Source: DeKalb County Board of Health
“The DeKalb County Board of Health is aggressively working to prevent transmission of West Nile virus or any additional mosquito‐borne virus including chikungunya or Zika,” the alert says. “Program technicians will be in the area providing additional mosquito control services including applying larvicide and investigating for mosquito breeding sites. The larvicide product, metheprene, will keep mosquito larvae from developing into flying biting insects.”
The Health Board recommends residents clean anything that has standing water that can be a breeding site for mosquitoes, like bird baths and gutters.
The Health Board provided this link for additional info about West Nile:
The city of Decatur says mosquito repellent with DEET will be available at the Fire Department’s First Aid Tent at the Decatur Book Festival this weekend.