The Fulton County Board of Health (FCBOH) today announced mosquitos caught in a trap, collected in the southwest Atlanta area tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). The infected mosquitoes were detected in a trap at Brown Middle School near the Southwest portion of the Atlanta Beltline. FCBOH would like to take this opportunity to remind County residents to practice mosquito breeding prevention and personal protection methods to guard against mosquitoes.
“Although a single mosquito pool found in the Southwest Atlanta tested positive, I encourage all residents to be vigilant in practicing personal protection and mosquito control methods,” said Galen Baxter, RHES, district environmental health director, Fulton County Board of Health. “We’ve had a lot of rain in recent days, and warm temperatures coupled with containers holding rainwater create the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes.”
Every year from July to October, mosquito traps placed in Fulton County collect and test mosquitoes. The traps, which contain mosquitoes’ larvae are collected and studied to determine which, if any, diseases the species carried. Last week, test results have concluded that one pool was positive for WNV.
“Whenever there’s a positive mosquito pool identified, mitigation measures are put into place. This includes educating and informing neighbors as well as the use of EPA approved mosquito adulticides and larvicides in and around the area to reduce the number of mosquitos and potential for human exposure. Adulticides are administered at night, which typically involves spraying from a truck. If you see a truck in your area spraying for mosquitoes, don’t be alarmed,” said Baxter.
According to public health officials, a mosquito can lay dozens of eggs in a water-filled bottle cap. Tossing out that small amount of water can make a huge difference in reducing the number of mosquitoes around your home. FCBOH recommends that you turn over flowerpots, cover wading pools or throw out water stored in buckets, and other containers after every rainfall. Refill pet bowls with fresh water daily. Taking these actions at least once a week can help prevent mosquito breeding.
In addition to applying tip ‘n toss techniques, you can also control the mosquito population near and around your home by removing debris, repairing missing or damaged window screens and unclogging drain gutters. You can also protect yourself from being bitten by wearing clothing that covers your neck, legs, and arms and mosquito repellent when outdoors.
For more information about the Fulton County Board of Health and our Environmental Health Program, visit fultoncountyga.gov/boardofhealth. For more tips and information on mosquito control, please visit dph.ga.gov and cdc.gov.