West Nile Discovered in Chatham County

Living in the Southeast, we know the dangers and disease mosquitoes can carry. But now it seems the danger is really hitting close to home. One Chatham County area has tested positive for the West Nile virus.

Chatham County Mosquito Control says 19 samples from the midtown area and Wilmington Island have tested positive for the virus. They haven't said which specific neighborhoods because they don't want people to panic, but they are stressing that everyone in Chatham County should be careful.

Mosquito Control is spraying all over the county to prevent mosquitoes from breeding. Each week, they gather samples from traps placed around the county, then test those samples to see what kinds of diseases these pests may carry.

"We've had 19 samples come in positive for the West Nile virus," confirmed Mosquito Control's Robert Moulis.

Eighteen of those positive samples came from midtown and one from Wilmington Island. But taxonomist Moulis says those numbers may be misleading, because that's just 19 positive samples outs of 2,500 they've checked this year.

That doesn't make landscaper Alfred Pate feel any safer. He works in midtown at least three times a week "It scares me," he said. "I don't want to get the disease. I just want to earn a living."

Sondra Love has lived in midtown for 23 years, and she's says this news alarms her. "We're all concerned not only for ourselves but for our pets," she told us.

But Mosquito Control says this isn't a time to panic. But it is a time to be cautious. "DEET is very important," advised Moulis. "Wear long sleeves and long pants, and avoid being outdoors dusk and dawn."

Reported by: Hena Daniels, hdaniels@wtoc.com