The Coastal Health District of Georgia serves the counties of Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long & McIntosh

News & Events


State & Local Public Health Officials Urge Mosquito Precautions

Local Public Health Officials Continue to Encourage Mosquito Precautions
News release from Coastal Health District, August 30, 2018

Public health officials continue to encourage precautions to prevent mosquito bites and breeding. Mosquitoes can carry diseases such as West Nile Virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). WNV has been identified in mosquitoes in both Chatham and Glynn counties and EEE has been identified in mosquitoes in Liberty County. Both can diseases can cause mild to serious illness.

Most people who contract WNV and EEE will show no symptoms; however, severe illness is possible. Horse and large animal owners are encouraged to vaccinate their animals against EEE and to clean out watering sources, such as buckets and troughs, every three-to-four days to prevent mosquitoes from breeding there. Mosquitoes that carry the West Nile Virus are more likely to bite during the evening, night, and early morning. The primary mosquito that transmits EEE breeds in freshwater swamps.

Following the 5Ds of prevention can help protect against mosquitoes:

  • 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.

Georgians Urged to Protect Themselves from Mosquito Bites
West Nile Virus Infections Increase in Georgia
News release from the Georgia Department of Public Health, August 29, 2018

The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) has confirmed seven human cases of West Nile virus so far this year, including one death. Additionally, there has been one confirmed case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) which resulted in death. EEE is rare illness in humans, and only a few cases are reported in the United States each year. Georgians are urged to protect themselves from mosquito bites, particularly when they are outside this Labor Day weekend. Mosquito season in Georgia typically lasts through October, sometimes longer depending on the weather. “Georgians can reduce the number of mosquitoes around their homes and yards by getting rid of standing water,” said Chris Rustin, Ph.D., DPH director of Environmental Health. “Standing water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes that may be infected with West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne diseases.” Tip ‘n Toss all containers that can collect water – flowerpots, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, discarded tires and birdbaths – anything that holds water and gives mosquitoes a place to thrive. Mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus look for stagnant water to breed in, so be sure gutters and eaves are clear of leaves and debris. The most effective way to protect against WNV infection and all mosquito-borne diseases is to prevent mosquito bites. Observe the “Five D’s of Prevention” during your outdoor activities this holiday weekend:

  • 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 skin.
  • DEET – Cover exposed skin with an insect repellent containing DEET, which is the most effective repellent against mosquito bites.
  • Drain – Empty any containers holding standing water because they are 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. The elderly, those with compromised immune systems, or those with other underlying medical conditions are at greater risk for complications from the disease. Anyone with questions about WNV or EEE should speak to their health care provider or call their local county health department, environmental health office.

More information about mosquito-borne illnesses and mosquito repellents can be found at https://dph.georgia.gov/EnvironmentalHealth. Information about West Nile Virus and EEE can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/westnile/ or https://www.cdc.gov/easternequineencephalitis/index.html

About the Georgia Department of Public Health
The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is the lead agency in preventing disease, injury and disability; promoting health and well-being; and preparing for and responding to disasters from a health perspective. DPH’s main functions include: Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, Maternal and Child Health, Infectious Disease and Immunization, Environmental Health, Epidemiology, Emergency Preparedness and Response, Emergency Medical Services, Pharmacy, Nursing, Volunteer Health Care, the Office of Health Equity, Vital Records, and the State Public Health Laboratory. For more information visit: www.dph.georgia.gov.

Comments are closed.