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Mosquitoes, ticks provide early threat
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ATLANTA—Georgia’s first case of West Nile Virus has been confirmed in a horse in Southeast Georgia. The Georgia Department of Community Health, Division of Public Health recommends that Georgians protect themselves from mosquitoes and remove any standing water from their property.

“While this is a non-human case, we recognize that the mosquito and tick season is starting earlier than in previous years,” said Dr. Anil T. Mangla, program director of Infectious Disease and Immunization and acting state epidemiologist for DCH.

DCH recommends that Georgians take the following precautions for themselves and their families:

Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and socks when outdoors, especially at dawn and dusk to reduce the amount of exposed skin.

Consider using insect repellent containing DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, or PMD. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label.

Symptoms of WNV include headache, fever, neck discomfort, muscle and joint aches, swollen lymph nodes and a rash. Symptoms usually develop three to 15 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. The elderly and those with compromised immune systems or other underlying conditions are at greater risk for complications from the disease.