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

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West Nile Virus Detected in Chatham Co. Mosquito Population

Chatham County Mosquito Control has confirmed that a mosquito sample collected from an area in south Savannah has tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV). Mosquito control personnel routinely collect and sample mosquitoes in all areas of Chatham County. This is the first positive WNV test in the Chatham County mosquito population this year. Chatham County Mosquito Control will treat the area with insecticide Wednesday evening.

No human cases of WNV have been confirmed this year in Georgia. WNV is transmitted to humans by the bite of infected mosquitoes. Fortunately, most people infected with WNV do not feel sick. About 20% of people who are infected will have mild symptoms like a fever, headache, body aches, joint pain, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. However, a West Nile Virus infection can be serious, and 1 out of 150 infected people develop a severe, sometimes fatal, illness.

“This report of West Nile Virus in our mosquito population is unwelcome but not unexpected, as we typically see mosquito activity increase in the summer,” said Dr. Lawton Davis, Health Director of the Coastal Health District. “There is no vaccine or cure for West Nile Virus, so the best protection is to avoid mosquito bites.”

Residents are always encouraged to follow the “5 Ds” 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 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.

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