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Posted inDunwoody Reporter

Dunwoody woman dies from West Nile Virus

A Dunwoody woman in her 90s has died from the West Nile Virus, according to the DeKalb County Board of Health.

“On behalf of the Board of Health, we extend our deepest and heartfelt condolences to the family during this difficult time,” said DeKalb County District Health Director S. Elizabeth Ford in a press release.

“Although it’s rare, in some cases, West Nile virus can be fatal,” Ford said. “Remember, even though fall has arrived, everyone must still take precautions. The risk of contracting the virus remains whenever temperatures are above 50 degrees Fahrenheit.”

The death follows the board’s confirmation last month of a man in his 20s, also from Dunwoody, as being this year’s first human case of the virus infection in DeKalb County. He was reported as recovering at home.

The city of Dunwoody does not contract out nor independently conduct any mosquito spraying in public parks nor city-owned properties, according to spokesperson Bob Mullen.

The Georgia Department of Public Health confirmed nearly 20 human cases of West Nile virus in 2017, including at least three deaths. In 2016, there were seven human cases of West Nile Virus and no confirmed deaths related to the virus.

The board of health recommends these measures to reduce mosquitoes:

  • Eliminate standing water in gutters and items such as planters, toys, wheelbarrows and old tires.
  • Trim tall grass, weeds and vines.
  • Make sure window and door screens fit tightly to keep mosquitoes out of your home.

To prevent being bitten by mosquitoes:

  • Reduce outdoor exposure at dawn and dusk, when the mosquitoes that transmit West Nile virus are most active.
  • Use an insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535. Apply according to label instructions.
  • Spray clothing with products containing permethrin. Also, apply according to label instructions.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants and socks when outdoors, particularly at dawn and dusk and in areas with large numbers of mosquitoes.

The Board of Health has program technicians that routinely trap mosquitoes throughout the county, which are tested for viruses, according to the BOH press release. Technicians also work with residents to reduce mosquito infestations including placing larvicide in sources of standing water, like storm drains, to prevent young mosquitoes from becoming flying biting adults, according to the release.

For more information about the West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne illnesses, call the BOH at 404-508-7900 or visit www.dekalbhealth.net/envhealth.