A limited number of free larvicide briquettes and insect repellent to help combat mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus are available from environmental health specialists at the 14 county health departments in Southwest Health District.
“A grant from The Friends of Southwest Georgia Public Health, a nonprofit organization that supports the mission of Southwest Health District, funded the purchase of the items,” said DistrictEnvironmental Health Director Dewayne Tanner.
West Nile virus is a potentially dangerous mosquito-borne illness for which there is no vaccine. “This season we have had 15 confirmed human cases in the District, including three West Nile virus-related deaths,” Tanner said. “There have also been confirmed cases in horses.”
There is no specific treatment for West Nile virus. People with severe cases are hospitalized and receive supportive care, such as intravenous fluids and respiratory treatment, Southwest Health District Health Director Dr. Jacqueline Grant said. “The best protection is to avoid getting bitten,” Tanner said. Ways to reduce the risk of being bitten include:
● Avoid outdoor activity when mosquitoes are most active – at dawn and dusk
● Cover exposed skin if you must be outside
● Use insect repellent with active ingredients such as DEET, oil of lemon eucalyptus or picaridin
● Repair screens
● Drain standing water
“People who have horses are welcome to call their health department and ask for an environmental health specialist to stop by and make recommendations on how to help protect their animals from mosquitoes,” Tanner said. The free larvicide dunks can be used in troughs, vats or decorative water containers that can’t be emptied to help reduce mosquito
breeding areas. The repellent is for human use.
Friends of Southwest Georgia Public Health, Inc., is the nonprofit sister organization of Southwest Health District. An
all-volunteer organization that has received 501(c) (3) status – meaning that the Internal Revenue Service classifies it as a charitable organization – Friends of Southwest Georgia Public Health, Inc., has no paid employees, and therefore no administrative costs. All tax-deductible donations are used solely to enhance Public Health’s programs and services in the 14 counties served by Southwest Health District. Donations can be made Friends of Southwest Georgia Public Health, Inc. accepts cash or checks and credit card or Paypal on-line donations. To contribute, go to: www.outhwestgeorgiapublichealth.
Friends of Southwest Georgia Public Health, Inc.
C/O Carol Williams Southwest Health District
1109 North Jackson Street
Albany, GA 31701