Chatham County Mosquito Control confirms first 2020 case of West Nile Virus

BySean Evans|August 12, 2020 at 4:06 PM EDT - Updated August 12 at 4:06 PM

CHATHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) -For the first time this year, West Nile Virus has been found in Chatham County.

Chatham County Mosquito Control confirmed a mosquito tested positive for the virus, and it was collected in an area on Savannah’s south side.

West Nile is nothing new in Chatham County, it was first detected here in 2002. Now that it’s been detected this year, the director here at mosquito control detailed the plan of action.

“With this we’ll monitor the area, we’ll monitor all of our other sites. We have traps throughout the County, we’ll see where else it pops up. But out in this area we already have an aerial mission planned for this evening to cut down the adult population as much as possible.”

Ture Carlson, Chatham County Mosquito Control’s Director, says this case comes later in the season than any other case in recent years and points to a hot, dry July as the reason.

“We haven’t had a lot of mosquito complaints,” Carlson said. “But the ones we’re finding is really based on breeding in backyards. There’s a lot of containers either in their own back yard or a neighbors back yard or there’s something in the neighborhood. And getting rid of all that water is absolutely critical right now.”

As for the virus itself, Carlson says about 80 percent of those infected with West Nile don’t even know they have it. But there’s no vaccine or cure for the virus, so the best protection is to avoid getting bitten by a mosquito. To help lower that risk, empty and wipe out any container that holds water around your home regularly.

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Photo: WTOC

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