DeKalb Board of Health says human West Nile virus cases detected in county

The DeKalb County Board of Health announced that a human case of West Nile virus was detected in the county Wednesday.

Officials said Thursday the case was the first infection in the county for the year, and that no cases of West Nile virus had been detected in DeKalb since 2020, until now.

The confirmed case was detected in a male patient in their 20s, according to a statement from the DeKalb County Board of Health.

Board of Health officials said they are also investigating two unrelated West Nile cases, one in the Lake Claire area and one in the North Druid Hills area.

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According to the board, larvicide application has been used in low-lying areas and storm drains throughout the county, including areas where the cases were detected.

Larvicide is a process used to keep young mosquitoes from becoming flying, biting adults, according to the county.

While West Nile, COVID-19, and other similar coronaviruses share similar symptoms, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and PRevention said no evidence suggests COVID or other coronaviruses are spread by mosquitoes.

Due to the similar symptoms, DeKalb health officials said it is important to have symptoms evaluated by a medical professional, especially if you’ve spent extended time outdoors without wearing insect repellant.

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To help keep mosquitoes out of your homes and away from your families, the DeKalb Board of Health provided the following tips:

  • Reduce mosquito breeding in your yard by eliminating standing water in gutters and items such as planters, toys, wheelbarrows and old tires.

  • Discourage mosquitoes from resting in your yard by trimming tall grass, weeds and vines.

  • Make sure window and door screens fit tightly to keep mosquitoes out of your home

Additionally, they gave tips to keep mosquitoes from biting you:

  • Reduce outdoor exposure at dawn and dusk, when the mosquitoes that transmit West Nile virus are most active.

  • Use an insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535. Apply according to label instructions.

  • Spray clothing with products containing permethrin. Also apply according to label instructions.

  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants and socks when outdoors, particularly at dawn and dusk and in areas with large numbers of mosquitoes.

More information about West Nile virus can be found online, and the DeKalb County Board of Health’s Environmental Health Division can be called at 404-508-7900.

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