Mosquitoes in southern Glynn County tested positive Friday for West Nile virus, prompting county officials to launch intense localized spraying and issue a call to residents to take precautions against bites, Glynn County spokesman Matthew Kent said.
West Nile Virus is a mosquito-borne disease that can cause humans to suffer mild to serious illness and, in rare cases, death, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The positive tests for West Nile Virus were found in mosquito samples at a testing area located in the Satilla Shores neighborhood, in southern Glynn County off U.S. Highway 17, Kent said.
Mosquito Control Services, the company contracted by the county for control of the biting insects, began localized spraying in Satilla Shores with insecticide trucks and will continue with sprayings through Saturday and Sunday, Kent said. Additionally, the company will conduct aerial spraying Saturday over Andrews Island.
Residents are encouraged take precautions against bites, such as avoiding outdoor activities during the mosquito-active hours around dusk and dawn, wearing loose-fitting long-sleeve shirts and long pants, and applying insect repellant containing DEET to exposed skin.
“They’re starting this evening and they’re going through the weekend,” Kent said Friday. “They’re going after it, so hopefully we’ll knock this down quickly.”
Mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile Virus also in Effingham and Chatham counties. There have been no cases of West Nile in humans anywhere in the eight-county Coastal Health District, he said.
Residents also are encouraged to eliminate all standing water such as buckets, barrels, tarps and flower pots. Even a bottle cap of water can serve as mosquito breeding grounds. Garden pools and other larger water bodies can be treated with larvicides such as Mosquito Dunks or Mosquito Torpedoes.
Residents should check doors, windows and window screens to ensure they are secure. Symptoms of West Nile Virus can include fever as well as “headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash” and fatigue, according to the CDC.