A 44-year-old woman from Fulton County was diagnosed with West Nile virus, the first human case this year.
Fulton's health department announced the diagnosis late Wednesday afternoon. In a statement from the district, the diagnosis was confirmed by a local hospital, but no further information was provided on the case.
VIDEO: Earlier coverage of this issue
West Nile is a mosquito-borne disease that can cause disease or death. Elmer Gray, a public health expert at the University of Georgia, said the virus can be particularly dangerous to people who are prone to it.
"It's definitely a problem," he said. "People need to take precautions."
These precautions include wearing insect repellents, long sleeves at night and loose, light clothes by day, he said. In a statement, the county recommended removing stagnant water in and around the house. Water that has accumulated in flower pots or in areas as small as a bottle cap can be a good breeding ground for mosquitoes.
"Stagnant water is not good," said Gray. "Just be very diligent."
He said that the main season for West Nile is from 15 August to 15 September and expects more people to be diagnosed in the coming days and weeks. According to the District Health Department, many people who have the disease do not have symptoms, but some have mild or flu-like symptoms, such as headache, fever, nausea, vomiting, swollen lymph glands, or a rash. A small number of people infected can develop serious illnesses such as meningitis or encephalitis.
"This can be debilitating, even for young, healthy people," Gray said.
Mosquitoes with West Nile virus were found in DeKalb County and Fulton County. They were also discovered in Chatham County.
Only five districts in the state test for the virus; The others are Lowndes County and Glynn County.
Last year, the virus was detected in 34 people in Georgia. A Dunwoody woman in the nineties died of the disease.
Eli Jones, Deputy Health Director of Fulton, previously said that the county introduced chemicals into 8,700 pools and shallows to kill mosquito larvae before they are fully grown. At the beginning of this summer, mosquitoes at Frankie Allen Park near Buckhead had produced positive results for West Nile.
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