DECATUR, Ga. – The DeKalb County Board of Health confirmed a human West Nile virus-related death in the county this morning. The Dunwoody resident was a female in her 90s.
“On behalf of the Board of Health, we extend our deepest and heartfelt condolences to the family during this difficult time,” said DeKalb County District Health Director S. Elizabeth Ford, M.D., M.B.A. “Although it’s rare, in some cases, West Nile virus can be fatal. Remember, even though fall has arrived, everyone must still take precautions. The risk of contracting the virus remains whenever temperatures are above 50 degrees Fahrenheit,” emphasized Ford.
The DeKalb County Board of Health continues to educate the public, including through door-to-door campaigns, to help individuals eliminate mosquito breeding sites and prevent mosquito bites.
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.