Mosquito caused virus found in North Ga./ Metro Counties
Submitted by Georgia Department of Public Health
ATLANTA - The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is calling on all Georgians to guard against exposure to mosquitoes. DPH has
identified 21 confirmed cases of the West Nile Virus (WNV) in the state. Three cases have been fatal.
Confirmed cases are in the following counties: 1 - Bartow, 3 - Cobb, 1 - Columbia, 7 - Dougherty (including 2 deaths), 1 - Fulton, 1 - Forsyth, 1 - Early (including 1 death), 1 - Lee, 1 - Mitchell, 2 - Muscogee, 1 - Richmond, and 1 - Worth.
Mosquitoes from 54 West Nile Virus monitoring sites in metro Atlanta and another 20 in coastal and south Georgia have tested positive for the
virus that can lead to brain or spinal cord swelling, or even death. DPH has deemed these areas at high risk for WNV transmission.
"The problem of mosquitoes and West Nile Virus appears to be escalating in Georgia and across the country," said J. Patrick
O'Neal, M.D., DPH's director of health protection. "More West Nile Virus cases have been confirmed by the third week in August than at any time in the last 10 years."
Dr. O'Neal urges residents to prevent water from standing in containers - where mosquitoes thrive - and to observe the "Five
D's of WNV Prevention."
Mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus usually bite at dusk and dawn.
Avoid outdoor activity at dusk and dawn if possible. If you must be
outside, be sure to protect yourself from bites.
Wear loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirts and pants to reduce the amount
of exposed skin.
Cover exposed skin with an insect repellent containing the chemical
DEET, which is the most effective repellent against mosquito bites.
Empty any containers holding standing water because they can be
excellent breeding grounds for virus-carrying mosquitoes.
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
conditions are at greater risk for complications from the disease.
Of those who become infected with WNV, most will fight off the virus
without any symptoms or will develop less severe West Nile fever. But
about one in 150 people bitten by infected mosquitoes will develop
encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of
the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord).
Approximately 10 percent of people with a severe form of WNV infection
die from their illness, and others suffer from long-term nervous system
People with questions about WNV should speak to their healthcare
providers or call their local county health department, environmental
More information on WNV can be found at the CDC's site:
Further information on repellents is also available from the CDC:
The Department's surveillance data on the West Nile Virus is
available on O.A.S.I.S. at http://oasis.state.ga.us/.