First case of West Nile in Metro Atlanta for this year - Dallas News |

First case of West Nile in Metro Atlanta for this year

Posted: Updated:

Metro Atlanta has its first report of mosquitoes testing positive for West Nile this year. A routine collection of mosquitoes tested positive for the virus, DeKalb County authorities said.

West Nile virus is spread by infected mosquitoes. It can cause serious, life-altering and
even fatal disease.

Although infected people over age 50 are at highest risk for serious illness, individuals of all ages can become ill. Some people develop a less severe illness called West Nile fever. This mild illness usually does not require medical treatment and goes away.

Fortunately, most people who are infected with the virus do not have any ill effects.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 5,674 human cases of West
Nile virus were confirmed nationwide last year.

This is the highest number reported since 2003. Since there is no vaccine or treatment for West Nile virus, prevention is the key.

"I am encouraging residents to learn about prevention and to protect themselves," said
S. Elizabeth Ford, M.D., M.B.A, district health director of the DeKalb County Board of Health.

The Board of Health recommends a number of ways to reduce mosquito breeding. You
can eliminate the places mosquitoes reproduce by:

 - Dumping standing water. Be sure to check plant pots, toys, and tarps.
 - 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.
 - Raking or shredding magnolia leaves.
 - Trimming tall grass, weeds and vines.

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