A human case of the West Nile Virus has been reported in Brookhaven. The patient, a 72-year-old man, is hospitalized.

The DeKalb County Board of Health reported the case to the city of Brookhaven, according to a city press release. DeKalb officials did not specify a neighborhood where the virus was contracted, according to a city spokesperson.

DeKalb County health officials and the city have been monitoring and treating for the prevention of the mosquito population within Brookhaven for months, according to the press release. DeKalb officials have been monitoring mosquito activity at Blacburn Park and Murphey Candler Park as well as treating storm drains along roads throughout the city. To date, no positive West Nile Virus mosquitoes have been captured in Brookhaven.

“In an abundance of caution, we are working with the DeKalb County Board of Health and redoubling our efforts to minimize any exposure to the West Nile virus in Brookhaven,” said City Manager Christian Sigman. “We are comparing our stormwater drainage maps with the Board of Health maps, to ensure every storm drain is treated with a larvicide which is safe for humans, but interrupts the life cycle of mosquitoes. This includes all of our parks and ponds in the city.”

The DCBOH advises that most people infected with WNV have no symptoms or experience mild flu-like symptoms, the virus potentially can cause serious and sometimes fatal illness. The chance that any one person is going to become ill from a single mosquito bite is low. The risk of severe illness and death is highest for people over 50 years old, although people of all ages can become ill.

The easiest and best way to avoid WNV is to prevent mosquito bites. While the potential for WNV transmission exists throughout the metro area, a positive WVN case indicates a higher risk in the Brookhaven area at this time.

The DeKalb County Board of Health program technicians will be in the Brookhaven area providing additional mosquito control services including applying larvicide and investigating for mosquito breeding sites. The larvicide product, Altosid, will keep mosquito larvae from developing into flying biting insects, according to the press release.

The Board of Health advises the following precautions to prevent the spread of mosquitoes and the WNV:

Apply insect repellent — DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus and IR3535 are effective repellents recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For more information, visit: http://www.cdc.gov/westnile/prevention/index.html

When possible, wear long sleeves, long pants and socks particularly at dawn and dusk and in mosquito-prone areas.

Eliminating standing water in gutters and items such as planters, toys, wheelbarrows and old tires.

Trim tall grass, weeds and vines to discourage mosquitoes

Ensure window and door screens fit tightly to keep mosquitoes out of the home.

For more information about WNV visit the following web sites:

Dyana Bagby

Dyana Bagby is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.