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Mosquitoes carrying West Nile found in DeKalb traps

Traps have been found in Chamblee, Brookhaven and northwest of Stonecrest in unincorporated DeKalb County.
Credit: Thinkstock Images

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — A DeKalb County city is warning that a trap there has captured mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus. But it also warns they've been found elsewhere as well.

City of Chamblee officials confirmed the trap was found in the Ashford Park area and that larvicide application in low-lying areas and storm drains nearby has already taken place. The city's note suggested a large number of mosquitoes were collected in the trap and that mosquitoes in traps in Brookhaven and unincorporated DeKalb County had also tested positive for West Nile. Health Department maps show the latter trap was found northwest of Stonecrest in south DeKalb County.

Because of this, the city is urging residents to eliminate standing water and tall grass and weeds from their yards. Residents are also urged to avoid being outdoors at dawn and dusk when the mosquitoes transmitting the disease are most active. 

Wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants and socks while outdoors are all suggested as is using insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes the West Nile virus as the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in the continental United States. Eighty percent of people infected with the virus will not have any symptoms. 

However, one-in-five who contract West Nile will develop a fever and other symptoms such as headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. Even with full recovery, fatigue and weakness can last for weeks or months, the CDC reports.

About one in 150 people who contract West Nile develop a severe illness affecting the nervous system such as encephalitis or meningitis. About one in 10 of those with severe illness die.

On the topic of virus spread, the City of Chamblee also pointed out that there is currently "no data or scientific evidence" that suggests COVID-19 or other coronaviruses can be spread by mosquitoes according to the CDC.