West Nile virus continues to surge in Chatham Co., health department reports

Local News

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Health officials say there have already been more positive tests for West Nile virus in mosquitoes this season than all of last year.

“According to Mosquito Control, 2019 is now the second most active year for WNV in Chatham County, with positive mosquito samples from June and July surpassing all of 2018,” the Chatham County Health Department reports.

While there have been no reported cases of WNV in the county so far, officials urge residents to take precautions.

“Fortunately, most people who get WNV won’t even show symptoms,” the health department states. “About 1 in 5 who get the virus will have mild illness, with symptoms such as a fever, headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash.

“But for a small number of people, the virus can be very serious, causing inflammation of the brain and lining of the spinal cord.”

Officials say 167 people died from WNV in the United States last year; two from Georgia.

Chatham County Mosquito Control continues to treat the area for mosquitoes. Residents can expect to see their low flying, yellow helicopters on a regular basis.

For personal prevention, residents are urged to use common mosquito bite prevention practices, such as using DEET, avoiding dusk and dawn and emptying containers outside your home holding standing water.

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