A mosquito sample collected by Mosquito Control Services in the Brookman area of Glynn County has tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). Mosquito Control routinely collects and samples mosquitoes in several areas of Glynn County, and this is the first sample with a positive test result this year. Mosquito Control Services will be spraying the area during the next several nights, as well as implementing increased surveillance and larvicide activities.
No human cases of WNV have been confirmed this year in any Coastal Health District counties, including Glynn.
WNV is transmitted to humans by the bite of infected mosquitoes and can cause mild to serious illness. “Most people who become infected won’t even show symptoms, but about 1 in 5 may develop a fever, headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash,” said Dr. Lawton Davis, Health Director of the Coastal Health District. “A small number of people may become seriously ill and could die from West Nile virus.”
The Coastal Health District is encouraging all residents to take extra precautions now that WNV is actively circulating in the local mosquito population. “There are simple things we can all do to protect ourselves from mosquito bites and discourage mosquito breeding around our homes and yards,” said Dr. Davis.
One of the most effective ways to keep mosquitoes from your yard is by eliminating standing water, which mosquitoes need for breeding. Residents are urged to “Tip ‘n Toss.” After every rainfall, tip out water in flowerpots, planters, children’s toys, wading pools, buckets, and anything else that may be holding water. If it holds water and you don’t need it (old tires, bottles, cans), toss it out. It’s also a good idea to change water frequently in outdoor pet dishes, change bird bath water at least twice a week, and avoid using saucers under outdoor potted plants.
For containers without lids or that are too big to Tip ‘n Toss (garden pools, etc.), use larvicides such as Mosquito Dunks© or Mosquito Torpedoes© and follow the label instructions. These larvicides will not hurt birds or animals. In addition, clean out gutters, remove piles of leaves, and keep vegetation cut low to prevent landing sites for adult mosquitoes.
The Coastal Health District encourages everyone to follow the 5 Ds of mosquito bite prevention:
Mosquitoes are most active at dusk and dawn. If you can, avoid going outside at dusk and dawn to reduce your chance of being bitten.
Wear loose-fitting, long sleeved shirts and pants to reduce the amount of exposed skin. If the mosquitoes can’t get to your skin, they can’t bite you.
Any skin that is exposed should be covered with an insect repellent containing DEET, which is the most effective repellent against mosquito bites. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label regarding how to apply and how often to reapply.
Mosquitoes need standing water for breeding, so be sure to empty any containers holding stagnant water, such as buckets, barrels, flowerpots, and tarps. Be especially mindful after a rain, and toss any standing water to discourage mosquito breeding around your home.
Make sure doors and windows are in good repair and fit tightly. If you have screens on your windows and doors, be sure to fix any rips or tears so mosquitoes can’t get through the screens and into your home.