The DeKalb County Board of Health has found mosquitoes infected with West Nile virus in Brookhaven and 10 other sites, according to a press release.
Mosquito testing sites in Brookhaven are located in the Blackburn Park area and the Ashford Park area. Mosquitoes infected with the West Nile virus were trapped at both sites, according to a Board of Health official.
Other sites where virus-carrying mosquitoes have been trapped include Chamblee and near Tucker.
West Nile virus can be transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito. Most people have no symptoms or experience mild illness such as fever, headache and body aches before fully recovering, according to the Board of Health. However, in some individuals, West Nile virus can cause serious disease that affects brain tissue and can cause permanent neurological damage and can be fatal.
To date this year, there have been no human cases of West Nile virus infection confirmed in DeKalb County, according to the Board of Health.
In 2017, a 72-year-old Brookhaven resident was hospitalized after contracting the West Nile virus.
Last year, a Dunwoody woman in her 90s died after contracting the West Nile virus.
Also last year, a Dunwoody man in his 20s tested positive for the West Nile virus but was able to recover at his home.
Members of the Board of Health are making door-to-door visits to residents living in the identified areas to inform residents on how to eliminate mosquito breeding sites and to protect against bites.
Throughout the county, technicians routinely trap mosquitoes that are tested for viruses, according to the release. Ways people can eliminate mosquito breeding include placing larvicide in areas with standing water, like in storm drains, to prevent young mosquitoes from becoming flying, biting adults, according to the Board of Health.
The Board of Health also makes these recommendations:
- Reduce mosquito breeding in your yard by eliminating standing water in gutters and items such as planters, toys, wheelbarrows and old tires.
- Discourage mosquitoes from resting in your yard by trimming tall grass, weeds and vines.
- Reduce outdoor exposure at dawn and dusk, when the mosquitoes that transmit West Nile virus are most active.
- Wear a long-sleeved shirt, long pants and socks when outdoors, particularly at dawn and dusk and in areas with large numbers of mosquitoes.
- Make sure window and door screens fit tightly to keep out mosquitoes.
- Use an insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535 and apply according to label instructions.
- Spray clothing with products containing permethrin according to label instructions.
For more information about the West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne illnesses, contact the DeKalb County Board of Health’s Environmental Health division at
404-508-7900 or visit dekalbhealth.net/envhealth/west-nile-virus/.