West Nile Virus Found in Southern Georgia

Jun 21, 2018

2000 people have died from West Nile Virus in America since 1999.
Credit Turkle Tom via flickr / https://www.flickr.com/photos/turkletom/

Valdosta State University has found several mosquitoes tested in their labs to be positive with West Nile Virus. With no human infection yet reported, Courtney Sheeley tells us how we can take defense against a mosquito heavy summer.

In 2017, 47 states had at least one citizen infected with West Nile Virus via mosquito bite. Courtney Sheeley, Communications Specialist for the Georgia Department of Health, says West Nile Virus showing up in Georgia is nothing new.

“We see cases of West Nile Virus in mosquito samples every year. When these mosquito samples start coming back positive for West Nile Virus, that is our indicator to just make the community aware that the viruses are here, and that we need to be taking every precaution possible to not be bitten by mosquitoes," she says.

Sheeley says the best methods to prevent mosquito bites of any kind are to wear insect repellent, long sleeves and pants, and to stay inside during peak biting times, which is dusk and dawn. The Florida Department of Health also recommends draining still water outside your homes, as that is a popular breeding ground for mosquitoes.