The DeKalb County Board of Health has confirmed its first human case of West Nile virus infection in the county for the year.
The patient, a female in her sixties, resides in the East Lake Terrace area of unincorporated Decatur. Currently, no additional information is available, as the investigation is still ongoing.
Last year, one human case of West Nile virus in DeKalb County was confirmed on Sept. 13.
Due to COVID-19, the Board of Health will not perform its usual door-to-door canvas of the affected area. Larvicide application in low-lying areas and storm drains have already taken place in several areas throughout the county, including the area where the case resides. Larvicide keeps young mosquitoes from becoming flying, biting adults.
According to the CDC, no data or scientific evidence suggests that COVID-19 or other similar coronaviruses are spread by mosquitoes, although West Nile and COVID-19 share similar symptoms. Those similarities underscore the importance of having symptoms evaluated by a medical professional, particularly if you’ve recently spent an extended amount of time outdoors without wearing insect repellent.
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.
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.