CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WSAV) – Chatham County Mosquito Control confirmed that samples of mosquitoes collected in midtown Savannah have tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV).
This is the first positive WNV test in the Chatham County mosquito population this year. No human cases have been confirmed in any Coastal Health District counties.
WNV is spread to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito and can cause mild to serious illness.
“Most people who become infected won’t even show symptoms, but about 1 in 5 may develop fever, headache, body aches, joint pain, vomiting, diarrhea or rash,” Dr. Lawton Davis, Health Director of the Coastal Health District said. “A small number of people may become seriously ill and could die from West Nile Virus.”
The Coastal Health District is encouraging residents to take extra precautions now that WNV is actively going around in the local mosquito population.
The organization suggests residents dump all unnecessary standing water after it rains, including standing water in flowerpots, planters, buckets and children’s toys, to prevent mosquitoes from breeding. Residents can also use larvicides that will not harm other animals or birds.
For a full list of ways to protect yourself from mosquitoes this summer, click here.
The Chatham County Mosquito Control said they are actively treating all areas of the county for mosquitoes.