CAMDEN COUNTY, Ga. — Tests conducted by the Camden County Mosquito Control Services have detected the West Nile virus in a sample of mosquitoes collected this week in St. Marys, according to the Coastal Health District.
Officials say once the virus is detected in mosquitoes it is an indication that the virus is actively circulating in local mosquito populations.
Health officials are urging residents to take appropriate precautions to avoid the virus.
The health district says Mosquito Control Services has increased prevention measures in the area, but residents are also encouraged to follow the “5 Ds” of mosquito bite prevention:
· 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 the 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.
· Dusk/Dawn – Avoid dusk and dawn activities during the summer when mosquitoes are most active.
The West Nile virus is transmitted to humans by the bite of infected mosquitoes.
Most people infected with the virus do not feel sick and about 20% of people who are infected will have mild symptoms, experts say. However, the virus can also cause serious illness as well.
There has been one confirmed human case of the virus this year in Georgia but none in the eight Coastal Health District counties.
For more information on mosquito-borne illnesses, visit gachd.org/mosquitoes.