The Georgia Department of Public Health today confirmed the state’s first human case of West Nile Virus (WNV). The adult patient from Brantley County was infected in May and recovered without hospitalization or complications.
“Standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes that may be infected with West Nile Virus,” said Rosmarie Kelly, Ph.D., MPH, Georgia Department of Public Health entomologist. “In the heat of summer, it can take less than 10 days to go from egg to adult mosquito.”
Reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home by emptying standing water from containers - flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, discarded tires, and birdbaths - anything that holds water and gives mosquitoes a place to thrive.
The most effective way to avoid WNV, says the Ga. Dept. of Public Health, is to prevent mosquito bites and the best way to do that is to observe the “Five D’s of WNV Prevention.”
· Dusk/Dawn — Mosquitoes carrying WNV usually bite at dusk and dawn, so avoid or limit outdoor activity at these times.
· Dress — Wear loose-fitting, long sleeved shirts and pants to reduce the amount of exposed.
· DEET — Cover exposed skin with an insect repellent containing the DEET, which is the most effective repellent against mosquito bites.
· Drain - Empty any containers holding standing water because they can be excellent 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.
Symptoms of WNV include headache, fever, neck discomfort, muscle and joint aches, swollen lymph nodes and a rash that usually develop three to 15 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. will develop less severe West Nile fever. One in 150 people bitten by infected mosquitoes will develop encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord). Approximately 10 percent of people with a severe form of WNV infection die from their illness.