Mosquito sample in southeast Chatham County tests positive for West Nile Virus

CHATHAM CO., GA (WTOC) - West Nile Virus has been found in samples of mosquitoes in Chatham County.

No people in Chatham County have contracted West Nile yet, but it's important to take precautions.

Traps are set for mosquitoes all across the county and then about 25 mosquitoes are put in a small vial and then shipped for examination at a lab at the University of Georgia.

A group of mosquitoes did test positive for West Nile Virus. The virus has the potential to cause mild or even serious illness.

Mosquito populations are the largest at dusk and dawn so if you are out, especially during those times consider wearing lightweight clothing that covers your arms and legs, and use bug spray with DEET. Also, make sure your screens are good on the doors and window and tip over any standing water you see, that's potential breeding ground for mosquitoes.

We talked to mosquito control about their efforts.

"We are going to being aerial adulticiding starting tomorrow as a matter of fact," said Jeffrey Heusel, director of the Chatham County Mosquito Control. "And going through probably twice a week."

Now that mosquitoes have been found carrying West Nile Virus, Chatham County Mosquito Control will be spraying about twice a week in southeast Chatham County.

"About 20 percent of people develop a relatively mild illness with headaches, joint aches, and a little nausea. About 1/2 percent or about 1 in 150 people develop a very severe illness but in those people in can be devastating. Those are usually our senior citizens," said Coastal Health District Director Dr. Lawton Davis.

About 80 percent of people who get infected with West Nile Virus will never know they have it. Once again, no people have been infected in Chatham County with the West Nile Virus that we know of.

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