Mosquitoes caught for testing await shipment to a lab. 
Photo: JOHN MOORE / GETTY IMAGES
Photo: JOHN MOORE / GETTY IMAGES

DeKalb man, 72, hospitalized with West Nile virus

A 72-year-old Brookhaven man is hospitalized with West Nile virus, the DeKalb County Board of Health announced Wednesday. 

It’s the first human case in the county this year.

“It is unfortunate that one of our residents has contracted West Nile virus. However, this serves as a constant reminder that everyone should be vigilant in taking the necessary precautions to avoid mosquito bites, as they are carriers of the virus,” said DeKalb County District Health Director Dr. S. Elizabeth Ford.  

Most people have no symptoms, but about 20 percent have fever, headaches, body aches, vomiting, diarrhea or rashes. The virus is most likely to cause serious illness for people who are over 60, though less than 1 percent of all people infected die.

In a news release, Brookhaven officials said they’ve been monitoring the mosquito population and have found none with the virus.

“In an abundance of caution, we are working with the DeKalb County Board of Health and redoubling our efforts to minimize any exposure to the West Nile virus in Brookhaven,” said City Manager Christian Sigman. 

Workers will be making sure every storm drain is treated with larvicide. 

The health board is working to educate the public with door-to-door campaigns.

To limit dangers, officials recommended the following: 

  • Reduce time outside at dawn and dusk, when the mosquitoes that transmit West Nile virus are most active.
  • Use an insect repellent.
  • Spray clothing with products containing permethrin. 
  • Wear long sleeves, long pants and socks when outdoors.
  • Eliminating standing water in your gutters and items such as planters, toys, wheelbarrows and old tires.
  • Trim tall grass, weeds and vines.
  • Make sure window and door screens fit tightly.

For more information, contact the DeKalb County Board of Health’s Environmental Health division at 404-508-7900 or visit www.dekalbhealth.net/envhealth.

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The complex is set to be demolished next month anyways because DeKalb County Schools bought the complex.

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