DeKalb Health Officials Report First Human West Nile Virus Case in 2019

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DECATUR, Ga. – The DeKalb County Board of Health confirmed its first human case of West Nile virus infection in the county this afternoon.

The patient, a female in her fifties, who resides in east Atlanta, has recovered.

This is the first case of West Nile virus in a human in 2019. Last year, DeKalb County had two human cases of West Nile virus, one of them being fatal.

The DeKalb County Board of Health is working to educate the public, including conducting door-to-door campaigns, so that individuals can help protect themselves, their homes and their communities by eliminating mosquito breeding sites.

To reduce mosquitoes in and around your home:

  • Reduce mosquito breeding in your yard by eliminating standing water in gutters and items such as planters, toys, wheelbarrows and old tires.
  • Discourage mosquitoes from resting in your yard by trimming tall grass, weeds and vines.
  • Make sure window and door screens fit tightly to keep mosquitoes out of your home.

To prevent being bitten by mosquitoes:

  • Reduce outdoor exposure at dawn and dusk, when the mosquitoes that transmit West Nile virus are most active.
  • Use an insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535.  Apply according to label instructions.
  • Spray clothing with products containing permethrin. Also apply according to label instructions.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants and socks when outdoors, particularly at dawn and dusk and in areas with large numbers of mosquitoes.

To reduce the spread of West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne diseases, the Board of Health provides an integrated mosquito control program. Program technicians routinely trap mosquitoes throughout the county, which are tested for viruses. Technicians also work with residents to reduce mosquito infestations including placing larvicide in sources of standing water, like storm drains. This keeps young mosquitoes from becoming flying biting adults.  

For more information about the West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne illnesses, contact the DeKalb County Board of Health’s Environmental Health division at (404) 508-7900 or visit www.dekalbhealth.net/envhealth.