West Nile virus activity now widespread in Chatham County

Health News

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Officials say West Nile virus has now been detected in “multiple locations” across Chatham County.

But according to the Coastal Health District (CHD), the widespread activity isn’t unexpected.

Last week, Chatham County Mosquito Control confirmed the first positive test for West Nile virus (WNV) from a sample of mosquitoes collected in midtown Savannah.

“Once the virus is present in our local mosquito population, we know it’s just a matter of time before the activity becomes more widespread,” explained CHD Health Director Dr. Lawton Davis.

Humans can become infected by WNV by a mosquito bite, causing mild to serious illness.

Mosquito Control will continue to treat for mosquitoes, but residents are encouraged to take action on their own, remembering the 5Ds of mosquito bite prevention:

  1. Dusk/Dawn: Avoid outdoor activities during this time when mosquitoes are most active
  2. Dress: Wear loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirts and pants reduce skin exposure
  3. DEET: Use an insect repellent containing this chemical, considered the most effective against mosquito bites
  4. Drain: Empty containers holding standing water like buckets or barrels that could be a breeding ground for mosquitoes
  5. Doors: Ensure windows and doors are sealed tightly and screens are not damaged

WNV symptoms include but are not limited to fever, body aches, vomiting and diarrhea. A small number of cases can become serious or fatal.

More information on WNV and mosquitoes is available at gachd.org/mosquitoes.

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