The just sent out an email to residents reporting that a a mosquito carrying West Nile Virus (WNV) had been captured at Lake Avondale.
Beth Ruddiman of the DeKalb Board of Health said Tuesday afternoon that eight different traps in the county had positive readings, based on insects submitted for testing the first week of July.
Ruddiman said all those traps were inside the perimeter, but would not give the specific locations, citing deparment policy.
She said all DeKalb residents should worry about WNV, no matter where they live, and "we don't want to give a false sense of security."S
She said Board of Health employees knock on doors near the locations of positive findings. No humans have tested positive for WNV in Georgia this year, she said.
Here's part of the email from Avondale Estates City Hall:
A mosquito collection from a DeKalb County Board of Health's sampling station, located in the City of Avondale Estates at the lake in the north woods, has been reported as positive for West Nile virus (WNV).
While most people infected with West Nile virus have no symptoms or experience mild flu-like symptoms, the virus potentially can cause serious and sometimes fatal illness. The easiest and best way to avoid West Nile virus is to prevent mosquito bites since the virus is most often spread through the bite of an infected mosquito.
The virus usually infects birds, but it can be spread to humans by mosquitoes that feed on infected birds and then bite humans. The chance that any one person is going to become ill from a single mosquito bite remains low. The risk of severe illness and death is highest for people over 50 years old, although people of all ages can become ill.
Here are tips to avoid contracting WNV.
- Apply insect repellent. DEET (N, N-diethyl-meta-toluamide), picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus and IR3535 are effective repellents recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For more information, please see: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/mosquitorepellent.htm.
- When possible, wear long sleeves, long pants and socks. Clothing may also be treated with permethrin.
- Use extra care when mosquitoes are most active. The mosquitoes that are most likely to carry West Nile virus are more active from dusk to dawn.
- Remove any water holding containers.
It is important to note that the mosquito that carries WNV in this area, Culex quinquefasciatus, breeds in containers. Different mosquito species have different preferences and behaviors for laying their eggs. Culex quinquefasciatus have developed a preference for manmade containers that are rich in organic matter and have become a very urbanized mosquito. These mosquitoes will breed in things such as storm drains, gutters that are not draining properly, saucers under flower pots, bird baths and trash that may have collected under bushes or ivy.
These mosquitoes do not need much water. The top to a two-liter soda bottle that is hidden under ivy and holding water could be the source of hundreds of mosquitoes. Therefore, itis important to eliminate any containers and other removable breeding sites that may hold water for five or more days. Some items such as bird baths can be dumped and rinsed twice a week, but do need continual attention. Also, gutters should be cleaned and checked to make sure they drain properly.
For more information, visit http://www.dekalbhealth.net/envhealth/west-nile-virus/or call (404) 508-7900.