BROOKHAVEN, Ga. -- Health department officials have confirmed a case of West Nile virus in a metro Atlanta city.
DeKalb officials confirmed the mosquito-bourne illness in the city of Brookhaven, Ga. on Wednesday afternoon. The case involved a 72-year-old male who is currently hospitalized due to the illness.
"The DeKalb County Board of Health and the City of Brookhaven have been monitoring and treating for the prevention of the mosquito population within Brookhaven for months," a city official said in a statement.
Officials are also monitoring mosquito activity at Blackburn and Murphey-Candler parks and treating storm drains.
While most people infected with West Nile Virus show no symptoms or experience those similar to mild flu, the virus can also cause serious and sometimes fatal illness. The DeKalb County Board of Health added that the risk of severe illness and death is highest in those 50 or older.
The easiest way to contract West Nile is to be bitten. So officials are taking special preparations to prevent exposure. But they're also asking the public to take their own when possible.
Tips to prevent mosquito bites:
- Apply insect repellent. DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, and IR3535 are effective repellents recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- When possible, wear long sleeves, long pants and socks particularly at dawn and dusk and in mosquito-prone areas.
- Eliminating standing water in gutters and items such as planters, toys, wheelbarrows and old tires.
- Trim tall grass, weeds, and vines to discourage mosquitoes
- Ensure window and door screens fit tightly to keep mosquitoes out of the home.