Spring is in the air, and that means so are mosquitoes. The Georgia Department of Public Health says as of March, Georgia had 116 confirmed travel-related Zika cases in the past year. Health specialists told Yvonne Thomas they're starting this year's Zika prevention preps early.
From the wreath on her door to the eggs on her porch, Alecia Wilcox's home screams spring fever. “It's just a beautiful time of year,” said Wilcox. “I just love it. It means a fresh start. Hope.”
But for Wilcox, there's a downside to the pastel celebration. It’s the fear of getting the Zika virus. “The bad thing about Spring are the weeds and the mosquitoes,” said Wilcox. “I do worry about my fellow women who are pregnant or who may become pregnant.”
Now the Department of Public Health is advising everyone to be prepared. “When people start to travel for summer vacations, it is possible that the number of cases can grow,” said Environmental Health Specialist Rick Craft.
Craft says it’s important to make sure that you're not inviting unwanted guests to your home. “We're asking folks to take precautions when they're outside by using insect repellent,” said Craft. Another way to keep the mosquitoes away and to avoid getting the Zika virus is to make sure there's no standing water at the bottom of your plants.
Also, The Department is giving out free repellents to stop mosquitoes in their path. “Many of the local health departments are giving away free larvacides to add to areas that you can't drain or remove,” said Craft.
Health officials say they're starting to plan early this Spring, so that people like you and Wilcox can sit back and smell the flowers.
Bibb County says the Public Works Department will spray for mosquitoes next Monday.