State health officials announced on Thursday that a Georgia woman in her 90’s died from the West Nile virus.

Officials in Dekalb County said that the Dunwoody woman is the first to die in the county, but she is the second death in Georgia related to West Nile for 2018.

According to U.S. News and World Report, this case was the second case reported in Dunwoody, GA in less than a month. A man in his 20’s from Dunwoody died on Sept. 7 from the virus.

In late August, the Georgia Department of Public Health sent out a health advisory warning Georgians to protect themselves from mosquito-borne illnesses.

Below is the following information related of how to prevent illnesses related to mosquito bites from the Georgia Department of Public Health:

Tip ‘n Toss all containers that can collect water – flowerpots, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, discarded tires and birdbaths – anything that holds water and gives mosquitoes a place to thrive. Mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus look for stagnant water to breed in, so be sure gutters are clear of leaves and debris.

The most effective way to protect against WNV infection and all mosquito-borne diseases is to prevent mosquito bites. Observe the “Five D’s of Prevention” during your outdoor activities this holiday weekend:

  • Dusk/Dawn– Mosquitoes carrying WNV usually bite at dusk and dawn, so avoid or limit outdoor activity at these times.
  • Dress– Wear loose-fitting, long sleeved shirts and pants to reduce the amount of exposed skin.
  • DEET – Cover exposed skin with an insect repellent containing DEET, which is the most effective repellent against mosquito bites.
  • Drain – Empty any containers holding standing water because they are excellent breeding grounds for virus-carrying mosquitoes.
  • Doors– Make sure doors and windows are in good repair and fit tightly, and fix torn or damaged screens to keep mosquitoes out of the house.

Symptoms of WNV include headache, fever, neck discomfort, muscle and joint aches, swollen lymph nodes and a rash – that usually develop three to 15 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. The elderly, those with compromised immune systems, or those with other underlying medical conditions are at greater risk for complications from the disease.

Anyone with questions about WNV or EEE should speak to their health care provider or call their local county health department, environmental health office. 

More information about mosquito-borne illnesses and mosquito repellents can be found here.

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