West Nile virus found in DeKalb County - CBS46 News

West Nile virus found in DeKalb County

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DEKALB COUNTY, GA (CBS46) -

According to the DeKalb County Board of Health, a routine collection of mosquitoes has tested positive for West Nile virus.

This is the first report of positive mosquitoes in metro Atlanta this year.

West Nile virus is spread by infected mosquitoes.

"If you have a lot of mosquitoes in your yard, you're probably breeding them," said Juanette Willis of the DeKalb County Health Department "They don't travel very far."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 5,674 human cases of West Nile virus was confirmed nationwide last year.

The Board of Health recommends a number of ways to reduce mosquito breeding:

  • Dumping standing water.
  • Storing wading pools so they will not collect water.
  • Disposing of old tires, cans and other containers.
  • Changing the water in birdbaths and pet dishes every three to four days.
  • Cleaning gutters and downspouts.
  • Keeping drains and ditches clean of trash and weeds. 

"Every morning before I start working out back here I have to spray down with mosquito repellent or else they're swarming all over us," said Harrison Pratt, a contractor who works outdoors.

Willis said the virus produces flu-like symptoms and there is no vaccine or treatment for the illness.

"It can be very, very serious. I mean we're talking paralysis and even death," Willis said. "It is so serious and it's one mosquito bite."

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