Health workers to start spraying for mosquitos after being sidelined by COVID-19

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — The battle against COVID-19 has taken health workers away from their typical jobs to help where it's needed most.

Dr. Sandra Elizabeth Ford, District Health Director for DeKalb County, said that staff assisting with the COVID effort have now returned to their regular duties.

“Even though we are doing COVID-19 all day every day, it’s still mosquito season,” Ford said. “We’re still in the process of hiring interns for the summer program, as we always do, and so far, we’re moving forward.

[Be prepared: Mosquito season is here, and so is the risk for West Nile Virus]

That means starting in June, you’ll see the county’s mosquito control team out in full force spreading human-safe larvicide, which stops mosquito larvae from becoming biting adults, and testing mosquitoes for potentially deadly diseases like West Nile Virus, Georgia’s most common mosquito-related illness.

“DeKalb usually has anywhere between one and four deaths every season every year due to West Nile Virus,” Ford said.

Callie Harris of East Lake in DeKalb County is doing what she can to keep mosquitoes out of her yard and away from her toddler.

“We’ve definitely noticed more mosquitoes,” Harris said.

[Coronavirus: COVID-19 cannot be spread by mosquitoes, WHO says]

She dumps out any standing water around her home to prevent a breeding ground.

“We’re doing everything we can to make up for the fact that we don’t have playgrounds to go to right now and friend’s houses to play with,” Harris said.

[More rain means more mosquitoes: Here’s what you should know]

Another thing to think about this time of year is ticks.

Bites from the little pest can cause Lyme Disease and other health issues if left untreated. But there's something you can do to keep ticks away from your yard.

Experts say try to get rid of wood piles near your home, clear out any thick areas of brush and keep your lawn, shrubs and trees manicured.