Experts: Now is time to prevent spread of West Nile virus

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DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. – It’s an all-out war against mosquitoes in DeKalb County.

Health officials said they found 47 West Nile-infected mosquitoes so far this season. That puts DeKalb on track to meet or beat last year’s numbers.

County health officials said this is a crucial time, especially with children heading back to school.

The fear is they could get bitten at the bus stop or at afterschool programs outdoors when the bugs are most active, at dusk and dawn.

Channel 2’s Sophia Choi went out with crews as they executed their battle plans against the pesky bugs carrying the dangerous virus.


Crews are targeting schools by spreading larvicide pellets where they think the insects will breed. They’re also focusing along waterways, down storm drains and in ditches.

Right now, the county is concentrating in the northwest corridor, where they’ve had a history of cases and where they’re seeing the most complaints.

But health experts said mosquitoes are everywhere and everyone should take precautions.

“All the metro counties have mosquitos that probably got West Nile,” said Gordon Cargal, a mosquito expert with DeKalb’s Health Department.

County leaders said it’s imperative all residents take this seriously and take precautions.

Suggestions included hiring a company to spray your yard, spraying yourself with DEET products and getting rid of any standing water outdoors.

Officials said just one bottle cap of water can breed more than hundred mosquitoes.

West Nile produces flu-like symptoms for most. But in rare cases, it can make you very ill.

“West Nile can be fatal, so we don’t want to run the risk of anyone contracting West Nile,” said Eric Nickens, a spokesperson for the DeKalb Health Department.

Symptoms in humans normally don’t show up for weeks. That’s why the county said human West Nile infections start popping up in August, nearly a month after the first infected mosquitoes are discovered.

Right now, DeKalb has no human cases. But experts warn to give it time.

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