West Nile death confirmed in Savannah area

Tribune News Service

One person has died and two other human cases of West Nile Virus have been confirmed in Georgia’s Chatham County.

Coastal Health District in Georgia confirmed the cases — the county’s first this year — in a news release. West Nile activity in the county’s mosquito populations had been detected by the county’s Mosquito Control since July, the release said.

In Georgia, there have been a total of 31 confirmed human cases and five deaths. In South Carolina, there have been 11 human cases and one death, according to the Department of Health and Environmental Control.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most people infected with the virus will show no symptoms at all; about 1 in 5 will develop a fever, headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or a rash; and about 1 in 150 will develop a severe illness affecting the central nervous system.

“West Nile Virus is transmitted by infected mosquitoes, and once we know the virus is in the mosquito population we know that, unfortunately, there is a threat to people who live in that same population of contracting the virus,” Dr. Lawton Davis, district health director for the Coastal Health District, said in the news release. “We continue to urge residents to do everything they can to keep from getting bitten by mosquitoes and to reduce mosquito breeding around their homes and neighborhoods.”

Mosquitoes that carry West Nile Virus are more likely to bite during the evening, night and early morning. Wearing EPA-approved insect repellant containing at least 20-30 percent DEET will help keep mosquitoes away, and eliminating standing water around the home and yard will help stop them from breeding.

Lisa Wilson: 843-706-8103