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First 2017 West Nile virus case reported in DeKalb

The DeKalb County Board of Health has received its first report of a human case of West Nile virus infection in the county, officials said.

The patient, a 72-year-old male who lives in Brookhaven, is currently hospitalized.

“It is unfortunate that one of our residents has contracted West Nile virus. However, this serves as a constant reminder that everyone should be vigilant in taking the necessary precautions to avoid mosquito bites, as they are carriers of the virus,” said S. Elizabeth Ford, DeKalb District Health Director.

The DeKalb County Board of Health is working to educate the public, including conducting door-to-door campaigns, so that individuals can help protect themselves, their homes and their communities by eliminating mosquito breeding sites.

The Board of Health advises people to take the following precautions against 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.
  • 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 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 dekalbhealth.net/envhealth.

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