Health Officials Warn About West Nile Virus

By: Dontaye Carter Email
By: Dontaye Carter Email

Valdosta, GA -- August 10. 2011 --

Since 2001, there have been 14 cases of a mosquito-borne illness in South Georgia.

That's why the South Health District is telling people to protect themselves from mosquitoes.

The Health Department tells us, areas with standing water like this puddle and retention ponds are the places mosquitoes call home.

They multiply and carry severe diseases like West Nile virus that can lead to a person going into a coma or even death.

"It starts out as easy as having a headache, having a fever, chills that kind of thing," said South Health District Public Information Officer Courtney Sheeley.

An email from the Health District shows there are no human cases of West Nile virus in South Georgia.

But more than 100 mosquito pools have tested positive for the virus, including one in our area.

Something residents say they are worried about.

"I'm concerned that not just for myself but my family members, said Brenda Mims. "Places where I attend church there's a lot of elderly members there and that's also a concern of mine."

Sheeley says people can avoid mosquitoes by not going out at night.

If you do, wear long-sleeved shirts, long socks and mosquito repellent.

The South Health District says there is currently no vaccine to fight mosquito-borne illnesses for humans.

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