Number of mosquitoes in DeKalb carrying West Nile virus triples

No human cases of West Nile virus have been reported in Georgia as of July 24.

No human cases of West Nile virus have been reported in Georgia as of July 24.

The number of mosquitoes testing positive for the West Nile virus in DeKalb County has tripled in one week.

A total of 34 mosquitoes have tested positive for the virus as of July 24, said the DeKalb County Board of Health. Last week, only 11 mosquitoes had tested positive.

According to board representatives, these numbers are similar to that of last year. Eric Nickens, DeKalb Board of Health spokesperson, says this is the time of year when mosquitoes test positive for the virus.

“Other areas in Georgia, particularly in coastal areas, are also seeing mosquitoes test positive for the West Nile virus,” said Nickens.

Mosquitoes are collected at various surveillance traps around the county and submitted for weekly testing, according to the board. They update the numbers for mosquitoes affected as they receive results.

MORE: What you need to know about West Nile Virus

MORE: First signs of West Nile Virus logged in DeKalb County

Though insects in the area have tested positive, there have been no human cases of West Nile virus.

Roughly 20 percent of people who are infected with the virus develop a fever and other symptoms. About one out of 150 infected people develop a serious, sometimes fatal, illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The county’s board of health is also testing Zika virus in the area. No mosquito or human cases have been reported as of July 24.

According to the board, DeKalb residents can decrease their chance of coming into contact with mosquitoes carrying these viruses by emptying water-holding containers around their homes.

“Mosquitoes need standing water to breed,” said Nickens. “If there are mosquitoes in your yard, then it is likely the mosquitoes are breeding in your yard.”

Updates regarding the latest numbers for mosquitoes with West Nile virus can be found here.

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