DeKalb County Man Diagnosed With West Nile Virus

Robert F. Bukaty / associated press file

A 72-year-old Brookhaven man has tested positive for the West Nile virus. 

It’s the second confirmed human case in Georgia this year. 

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Mosquitoes are the source of West Nile, and public health officials are recommending the public take steps to protect themselves from mosquito bites.

The DeKalb County Board of Health website says: “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.”

Georgia Department of Public Health Communications Director Nancy Nydam says the first case of West Nile in the state was diagnosed in Cherokee County during the spring.

“It was April, and that is a little bit early, but there isn’t necessarily a real rhyme or reason,” Nydam said.

Nydam says the hot, rainy weather we’re having creates ideal breeding conditions for the insects. However, she says that doesn’t mean we’ll see more West Nile cases this year because the virus can change a bit from year to year.

“Sometimes the virus can change a little bit, and sometimes the mosquitoes that carry it can change a little bit,” Nydam said. 

The Georgia Department of Public Health suggests going around your home and making sure there are no containers holding standing water.

“Mosquitoes will lay eggs in a small amount of water no bigger than a bottle cap you may lay on your deck,” Nydam said.