Mosquitoes test positive for West Nile in Lowndes

Photo: MGN Online, Frank Hadley Collins / CDC

Department of Public Health officials are warning Lownes County and Southwest Georgia residents to take precautions after numerous mosquitoes tested positive for West Nile Virus.

“Mosquito-borne illnesses are spread through the bite of an infected mosquito,” states William Grow, MD, FACP, district health director. “The more time someone is outdoors, the more time the person is at risk of being bitten by an infected mosquito; that is why we encourage everyone to take all precautions against mosquito bites.”

People are urged to take the following precautions:

  • Use insect repellent containing DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, or PMD. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label.
  • Any containers that can collect water should be discarded or dumped daily.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and socks when outdoors, especially at dawn and dusk to reduce the amount of exposed skin, as weather permits.
  • Avoid being outdoors from dusk to dawn, peak mosquito biting times, if possible.
  • Set up outdoor fans to keep mosquitoes from flying near you.

Both Lowndes County and Valdosta are taking steps to cut down on mosquitoes

Lowndes County PIO Paige Dukes says that thecounty is following local spraying protocols. The Public Works Department is offering free larvicide to residents in the unincorporated area. Larvicide can help reduce mosquito populations in areas where standing water cannot be eliminated through traditional drainage methods. For more information, contact Lowndes County Public Works at 229-671-2700.

Ashlyn Becton with the city of Valdosta says that the city is spraying and providing larvicide as well. These tablets are also available for free to city residents who maintain their own privately-owned bodies of stagnant water. Citizens with questions about mosquito safety may call the Public Works Department at 229-259-3597.

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