Posted on behalf of CP resident Chris Timmons
The Fulton County Health Department recently reported mosquitoes positive for West Nile virus in Old Fourth Ward. Couple that with the DeKalb County Board of Health’s report of positive activity in areas close to us, and it is possible that the West Nile virus has come to Candler Park.
According to the CDC, the good news is “most people (70-80 percent) who become infected with West Nile virus do not develop any symptoms.” The bad news is that a small group of infected people (fewer than 1 percent) “will develop a serious neurologic illness such as encephalitis or meningitis.”
West Nile virus is spread to humans through bites from infected mosquitoes. Thus, the key to reducing West Nile virus exposure is to reduce the number of mosquitoes, as well as to take certain precautions to avoid mosquito bites.
Mosquitoes can breed in standing water in as little as four days. The Georgia Department of Public Health notes that “residents can reduce the number of mosquitoes around their homes by emptying standing water from containers —flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, discarded tires, and birdbaths — anything that holds water and gives mosquitoes a place to thrive.”
Experts also recommend following the “Five D’s”:
Avoid or limit outdoor activity at Dusk/Dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.
Dress in loose-fitting clothing that reduces the amount of exposed skin.
Cover exposed skin with insect repellant containing DEET.
Drain containers holding standing water.
Make sure Doors, windows and screens fit tightly and are in good repair.
For assistance in identifying mosquito breeding sites and to report mosquito infestations, contact the DeKalb County Board of Health at 404-508-7900.