West Nile virus reported in South Fulton

Mosquitos at Welcome Hall Park in the City of South Fulton recently tested positive for West Nile virus, city officials said Monday.

During routine testing of mosquito traps at Welcome All Park, the Fulton County Board of Health has identified mosquitos infected with the West Nile virus.

City officials say steps are already being taken to prevent spread of the virus, including the use of larvicide within a quarter-mile radius and spraying for adult mosquitos in a half-mile radius.

West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne illness found across Georgia. Those who encounter it rarely suffer serious illness. People over 50 and those with compromised immune systems are at the greatest risk.

According to health officials, the best way to keep from catching the virus is to avoid mosquito bites. Officials say you can do your best to avoid those bites by taking the following precautions:

  • Pour out any water standing in flower pots, wheelbarrows and other items where water can collect.
  • Use mosquito repellant according to label instructions.
  • Wear long sleeves and long pants.
  • Stay indoors at dusk and dawn when mosquitos are most active.

The spraying of the area where the mosquitos were found will take place between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. once a week for the next four to five weeks.

According to South Fulton spokesman Gary Leftwich, the treatment is approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and has been deemed safe for people and pets. It breaks down in UV light, so any residue will dissolve as the sun rises.

Anyone with questions can call Fulton County’s mosquito hotline at (404) 613-1303.