Heavy rain sparks health concerns - CBS46 News

Heavy rain sparks health concerns

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ATLANTA (CBS ATLANTA) -

Ruining your outdoor plans wasn't the only downside to all the recent rain. It's also caused some major health concerns.

Georgia just had its first confirmed case of West Nile virus of the year and more could be on the way.

The constant downpours have turned the Peach State into one big mosquito breeding ground because it has left standing water in places you normally don't see it.

Avondale Estates resident Carla Cook loves her backyard because its full of vegetation, but unfortunately mosquitoes love it too.

"My kids just seem to be eaten up by them sometimes," said Cook.

She was so fed up with bites that she hired the pros at Zone Pest Solutions to fight back, and she wasn't alone.

Brian Donnelly with Zone Pest Solutions said they've been very busy.

"Phone rings pretty steady at this point. It is at least 20 percent up from last year," said Donnelly.

He said they've got even more calls recently because we got so much rain, anything and everything was collecting water and when it comes to mosquitoes, it doesn't take much.

"A tiny little cup full can give you thousands over the course of a couple months," said Donnelly.

He said for a yard like Cook's, which is big and full of low lying vegetation, it's more like a million.

"I don't think I could stand out here if we didn't have service," said Cook.

The state health department said it is concerned about the huge increase in mosquitoes, but there is some good news.

"Even though we will probably have a bumper crop of mosquitoes I don't think it will be type of mosquito that will cause a mass number of West Nile viruses, but certainly we do expect quite a few," said Patrick O'Neal with the Georgia Department of Public Health.

Mosquitoes are a major problem, but O'Neal said the water the bugs are breeding in can be dangerous itself.

"Keeping the kids away from standing water is terribly important," said O'Neal.

That's because if you don't, it could be a long painful night.

"What we really see are bacterial diseases like diarrhea or vomiting diseases. Those are the things we tend to see around this time of year when we have heat and all this moisture," said O'Neal.

The best thing to do is remove all standing water from around your home.

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