Do GA Mosquitoes Carry West Nile Virus?
This year the West Nile virus has killed 26 people across the nation and 14 in Texas. Wednesday the Mayor of Dallas declared his city is facing an emergency.
Mosquitoes spread the virus and Central Georgia has plenty of those.
"My entire right side of my body went numb and my left side was tingling. And it was very hard to breathe and to swallow. And so I basically sat there wondering, 'Am I even going to make it out alive?'" says Becky Dennis, of Plano, TX.
She describes the effects of the West Nile virus.
West Nile is spread from birds to mosquitoes and then on to humans.
So far this year, four cases of West Nile have been reported in Southern Georgia. Elmer Gray researches mosquitoes as part of his job at the University of Georgia.
"We have no indications that we have any major kind of disease outbreak eminent here in Georgia," says Elmer Gray, UGA Public Health Extension Specialist.
There is no vaccine for West Nile virus. The best way to avoid contracting the virus is to prevent mosquito bites.
"There's two main ways to do that. One is by using repellent and other personal protective measures. And the second is by mosquito control, and that's spraying," says Beth Bell, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Bibb County commissioners recently reinstated a spraying program after it had been cut for budget reasons. The mosquito spraying program uses trucks to spray a form of pesticide safe to humans. Gray thinks it's good way to go.
"It can be very effective. The equipment and products and the training that's required to do it in today's environment makes it highly effective. It can reduce the mosquito population," says Elmer Gray, UGA Public Health Extension Specialist.
In order to prevent mosquito bites use repelent, wear pants and long sleeves, and get rid of standing water.