VALDOSTA — Four samples from mosquito pools in Lowndes County have tested positive for West Nile Virus, according to the Georgia Department of Health.
The data represents test results through May 9, but don’t worry, officials said. These results are not out of the ordinary, according to Kristin Patten, public information officer with Georgia Department of Public Health’s South Health District.
However, it is recommended to still avoid mosquito bites.
“While it is no cause for concern, we continue to encourage everyone to take steps to avoid mosquito bites,” Patten said. “When outdoors, always use DEET bug spray, wear long sleeves and long pants to cover exposed skin and avoid going outdoors during peak mosquito hours, dawn and dusk, if possible.”
Patten said it is also recommended that outdoor containers of water, such as bird baths, buckets or pet bowls, are dumped every day.
The South Health District offers the tips below to prevent mosquito bites:
— Use an insect repellant containing DEET, picardin, IR3535 or oil of lemon eucalyptus on exposed skin or clothing.
— Wear long sleeves and pants when weather permits.
— Have secure, intact screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitos out.
— Eliminate mosquito breeding sites by emptying standing water from flower pots, buckets, barrels, wading pools and other containers. Drill holes in tire swings so water drains out.
— Be sure to use repellent and wear protective clothing from dusk to dawn, or consider indoor activities during these times due to peak mosquito biting hours.
Katelyn Umholtz is a reporter with the Valdosta Daily Times. She can be contacted at (229)244-3400 ext. 1256.