West Nile Virus found in mosquito samples from southside Savannah, islands area

(KFDA: Amarillo Environmental Health Department)
Published: Jul. 26, 2022 at 9:31 AM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Chatham County Mosquito Control confirms several mosquito samples have tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV).

Mosquito control personnel routinely collect and sample mosquitoes in all areas of Chatham County. The infected mosquitos were collected from Savannah’s south side and the islands area.

Mosquito control says these are the first positive WNV tests in the Chatham County mosquito population this year.

Mosquito Control says they will treat the areas with insecticide.

WNV is transmitted to humans by the bite of infected mosquitoes. Mosquito Control says most people infected with WNV do not feel sick.

They say about 20 percent of people who are infected will have mild symptoms like a fever, headache, body aches, joint pain, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. However, a West Nile Virus infection can be serious, and one out of 150 infected people develop a severe, sometimes fatal, illness.

There is no vaccine or cure for WNV. Prevention is key.

Mosquito control says all residents should take steps to avoid mosquito bites and eliminate standing water.

“We’ve had a lot of rain in recent weeks, creating an ideal environment for mosquitoes to breed,” said Dr. Chris Rustin, Administrator of the Chatham County Health Department. “Make sure to routinely drain any flowerpots, bird baths, or other outdoor containers that have been collecting water, and ensure gutters and eaves are clear of leaves and debris trapping water. This will help discourage mosquito activity around your home.”

They say to remember the “5 D’s” for mosquito prevention:

  • Dusk/Dawn – Avoid dusk & dawn activities during summer when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Dress – Wear loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirts and pants to reduce the amount of exposed skin.
  • DEET – Cover exposed skin with an insect repellent containing DEET, which is the most effective repellent against mosquito bites.
  • Drain – Empty any outdoor containers holding standing water because they are breeding grounds for virus-carrying mosquitoes.
  • Doors – Make sure doors and windows are in good repair and fit tightly, and fix torn or damaged screens to keep mosquitoes out of the house.

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