DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — Even though there have only been five cases of West Nile virus in Georgia this year, health officials say the number of mosquitoes carrying the virus is actually up.
Channel 2's Carol Sbarge was with workers as they surveyed and treated mosquito breeding areas in DeKalb County on Wednesday.
“What this larvicide does it keeps the baby mosquitos, the larvae from becoming adult flying mosquitos,” said DeKalb County Arbovirus Coordinator Juanette Willis.
Willis said they haven't seen an increase this year in the number of people getting sick from West Nile – but what they are seeing are more mosquitos carrying the virus.
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This year, two people in DeKalb County became sick from the West Nile virus. Also, one person each in Cherokee, Dougherty and Muscogee counties became sick.
“This year we are seeing a lot more of virus in the mosquitos,” Willis said. “So I want to not be afraid but I really want everyone to be aware and take precautions.”
Precautions include what the workers did -- they put on mosquito repellent before going into the park. Health officials said be sure to use EPA-approved repellents.
Officials said also to empty any standing water. Most people who get bit by a mosquito carrying West Nile won't get sick. It's people with weakened immune systems who are most at risk.
Health officials said usually the West Nile season ends in Georgia in September or October.
Cox Media Group