POOLER, GA (WTOC) - Chatham County is warning people to take extra precautions after the West Nile Virus was found in mosquitos in the Pooler area. The good news - no one has gotten sick yet.
As you're heading outdoors to enjoy the beautiful weather, you don't want to forget to make sure you're taking all precautions to avoid being bitten by mosquitos. One of the main things you want to remember is that water attracts the pesky bugs, so standing water outside of your home or just water in the bottom of plant bowls is all mosquitos need to grow and multiply. You also want to remember the "five D's" of mosquito bite prevention.
- Dusk and dawn are mosquitos' most active time of day
- Dress in loose-fitting clothing (long sleeves are best so not as much skin is exposed)
- DEET. The skin that is exposed should be sprayed with insect repellent that contains DEET. It's the most effective repellant against bites.
- Drain containers that have standing water
- Doors and windows should be fixed tight so mosquitos can't make their way into your home
It only takes a little bit of water and five to seven days for larvae to become an adult mosquito. The adults are the ones that carry the disease.
"Most people, if they get bitten by a mosquito that is infected, will not show any symptoms. About one in five will show symptoms," said Jeff Heusel, Chatham County Mosquito Control.
If you feel like you have the flu after noticing a mosquito bite, or you have a fever or aches, you need to see your doctor.
Pets are also not exempt, as dogs can get heartworms from the bites.
"Horses, Horses are a different matter. Horses are susceptible to West Nile and there is a vaccine for it," Heusel said.
Heusel says he wants to stress that they are doing all they can to prevent this disease from spreading because with it being in the Pooler area, it wouldn't take too much for it to spread to other counties.
"We don't use the spray trucks as much as we used to," Heusel said. "That used to be our main form of treatment. We've found that our helicopters are much more effective at treating areas and were designed to deal with large-scale mosquito problems."