Mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus found in south Georgia

mosquito.jpg(Macon Telegraph) Mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus have been discovered in a central-Albany neighborhood, prompting officials to step up insect control measures and launch a public awareness campaign. Sheena Haynes, spokeswoman for the state’s Southwest Health District, said today the pool of disease-carrying mosquitoes is not thought to have been the source of infection for a woman who became Georgia’s first confirmed West Nile case for the year. The victim lived another part of town. That case was reported earlier this month.

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The health department has scheduled an Aug. 31 public meeting to inform residents and help them take precautions.

West Nile is most commonly spread to humans by mosquitoes. It was first reported in the United States in New York in 1999 and has spread steadily westward since then.

Most infected people never get sick, but about 20 percent suffer flu-like symptoms. Fewer than 1 percent become severely ill, some with potentially fatal inflammation of the brain or spinal cord.

A total of 2,744 cases in humans were reported nationwide from Jan. 1 to Dec. 1, 2005, up from 2,359 reported in the same period of 2004, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

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