Public health officials continue to encourage precautions to prevent mosquito bites and breeding as mosquito-borne illnesses have been found in in Coastal Georgia.
Mosquitoes can carry diseases such as West Nile Virus (WNV) and Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). WNV has been identified in mosquitoes in both Chatham and Glynn counties and EEE has been identified in mosquitoes in Liberty County. Both can diseases can cause mild to serious illness.
Most people who contract WNV and EEE will show no symptoms, however, severe illness is possible. Horse and large animal owners are encouraged to vaccinate their animals against EEE and to clean out watering sources, such as buckets and troughs, every three to four days to prevent mosquitoes from breeding there. Mosquitoes that carry the West Nile Virus are more likely to bite during the evening, night, and early morning. The primary mosquito that transmits EEE breeds in freshwater swamps.
Following the five Ds of prevention can help protect against mosquitoes:
• Dusk/Dawn – Avoid dusk and dawn activities during the summer when mosquitoes are most active.
• Dress – Wear loose-fitting, long sleeved shirts and pants to reduce the amount of exposed skin.
• DEET – Cover exposed skin with an insect repellent containing the DEET, which is the most effective repellent against mosquito bites.
• Drain - Empty any containers holding standing water - buckets, barrels, flower pots, tarps - because they are breeding grounds for virus-carrying mosquitoes.
• Doors – Make sure doors and windows are in good repair and fit tightly, and fix torn or damaged screens to keep mosquitoes out of the house.