ATLANTA — Recent rainfall has prompted the Georgia Department of Human Resources Division of Public Health to remind residents about the importance of emptying standing water to minimize mosquito activity.
The standing water that persists after downpours of rain provides additional places for mosquitoes to breed and may cause mosquito eggs to hatch that have laid dormant for months or even years. Several mosquito-borne viruses circulate in Georgia each year and are capable of causing disease in humans and other animals.
“By emptying standing water, Georgians are able to decrease the presence of mosquitoes and reduce their risk of contracting mosquito-borne illnesses,” said Dr. Sandra Elizabeth Ford, acting director of the Division of Public Health. “Even if residents do not believe mosquitoes are biting, we still encourage them to dump excess water.”
The most common mosquito-borne viruses that annually circulate in Georgia include Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), West Nile (WNV) and La Crosse viruses. Mosquito-borne viruses are most active from late spring to early fall in Georgia. Increased numbers of human cases are normally detected in August.
Other ways to prevent mosquito bites:
• Avoid outdoor activity at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active. Dress appropriately when outdoors for long periods of time or when mosquitoes are most active.
• Use insect repellant with an EPA-approved active ingredient such as DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Always follow the directions on the package for safest and most effective use.
Please visit http://health.state.ga.us/epi/vbd/mosquito.asp for more information about mosquito-borne viruses in Georgia.