Chatham County Mosquito Control has confirmed that a sampling of mosquitoes collected in southeast Chatham County has tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). This indicates that WNV is actively circulating in local mosquito populations this year. Mosquito control personnel are surveying all areas of Chatham County and scheduling control operations as required. No human cases of WNV have been confirmed in any Coastal Health District counties, including Chatham.
WNV is transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes and can cause mild to serious illness. Mosquitoes that carry the West Nile Virus are more likely to bite during the evening, night, and early morning. The Chatham County Health Department and Chatham County Mosquito Control urge residents to take appropriate precautions now and throughout the summer to minimize mosquitoes around their property.
One of the most effective ways of preventing the spread of mosquito-borne viruses is controlling the mosquito population by eliminating standing water around the home and in the yard. Tip ‘n Toss containers after every rain and at least once a week. Dump out standing water in flowerpots and planters, children’s toys, pet dishes. In addition, clean out gutters, remove piles of leaves, and keep vegetation cut low to prevent landing sites for adult mosquitoes. By helping to limit potential breeding grounds for mosquitoes, every resident can contribute to reducing the nuisance caused by mosquitoes and stop the transmission of mosquito-borne diseases.
Residents are always encouraged to follow the 5Ds of mosquito bite prevention:
Dusk/Dawn – Avoid dusk and dawn activities during the 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 the DEET, which is the most effective repellent against mosquito bites.
Drain – Empty any containers holding standing water – buckets, barrels, flower pots, tarps – 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.
Chatham County Mosquito Control is actively treating all areas of Chatham County for mosquitoes. Residents should expect to see Mosquito Control’s low flying, yellow helicopters on a regular basis throughout the county.
July 12 UPDATE
Chatham County Mosquito Control has identified positive West Nile Virus (WNV) mosquito samples in east Savannah and the Islands area. This is in addition to the positive samples identified last week in southeast Chatham County. Chatham County Mosquito Control will increase abatement efforts and public health’s message remains the same: We encourage residents to prevent mosquito breeding and mosquito bites.
After every rainfall – or at least once a week – tip out water in flowerpots, planters, children’s toys, wading pools, buckets and anything else around your yard that can hold water. If it holds water and you don’t need it (old tires, bottles, cans), toss it out.
Use EPA-registered insect repellents containing 20%-30% DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus when outdoors.
- Clean out gutters.
- Remove piles of leaves.
- Tightly cover water storage containers (buckets, cisterns, rain barrels) so that mosquitoes cannot get inside to lay eggs.
- Keep vegetation cut low to prevent landing sites for adult mosquitoes.
- Homeowners associations and neighborhoods are encouraged to sponsor community cleanup days.
- Make sure to keep doors shut and cover windows with screens. Repair or replace any screens with holes in them.