Samples from two mosquito pools from Wilmington Island in Chatham County and one mosquito pool from downtown Brunswick in Glynn County have tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV).
Once WNV is detected in mosquitoes it is an indication that the virus is actively circulating in local mosquito populations, regardless of the specific location of positive mosquito pools.
These are the first positive WNV mosquito samples in the Coastal Health District in 2021. Mosquito prevention measures in those areas continue.
There has been one confirmed human case of WNV this year in Georgia and none in the eight Coastal Health District counties. 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.
Residents are encouraged to take precautions to prevent mosquito breeding and mosquito bites. That includes cleaning up around homes, yards, and communities and getting rid of unnecessary items outdoors that can hold water, and wearing mosquito repellant that contains at least 20-30% DEET.
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.