“Smashing” West Nile Virus in DeKalb

DeKalb County has a program in place to control the spread of mosquitoes – and with them the nasty diseases they can carry. The DeKalb County Board of Health has also released a few tips to reduce the risk of a bite.

Precautions include:

  • Eliminating standing water in gutters and items such as planters, toys, wheelbarrows and old tires to get rid of breeding grounds;
  • Trimming grass, weeds and vines to discourage mosquitoes from resting in the yard;
  • Reducing outdoor exposure at dawn and dusk when the type of mosquitoes that carry the virus are most active;
  • Wearing a long-sleeved shirt, long pants and socks when outdoors – especially at dusk and dawn;
  • Making sure window and door screens fit securely to keep the insects out of the home;
  • Using insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535 and follow the instructions when using them;
  • Spraying clothing with products containing permethrin;
  • For those that get West Nile, there is no vaccine or specific treatments though over-the-counter pain relievers can be used to reduce fever and relieve various symptoms.
  • Some with severe symptoms may have to go to the hospital.
  • Though symptoms can vary in severity, anyone who thinks they have West Nile should speak with a doctor.

You can find out more about the virus at www.dekalbhealth.net/envhealth/west-nile-virus