VALDOSTA – When Katie Butts comes to the door, answer.
She only has a 15-minute survey to determine how the West Nile virus affects the Lowndes County community.
Together with the South Health District, Butts, a biology student at Valdosta State University, is working on the door to mosquito-trap houses at the door to distribute more than 500 surveys. She wants to find out if and how West Nile virus exposure affects the people of Lowndes County.
"I'm studying the mosquito burden in Lowndes County and the people in our community to relate it to the mosquito data we have." Butts
The survey was conducted on mosquito data that VSU has already collected using traps which has been set up throughout the county next week.
The survey asks participants demographically how they protect themselves from mosquitoes and what times of the day they are outdoors. A small blood test, Butts said.
The South Health District will greatly assist with this part of data collection, said Kenneth Lowery, district epidemiologist.
"We will be helpers Pinging the blood samples, transporting them and interpreting the test results for the research project," Lowery said. "We're really excited about the results."
Butts announced that they would return the results to the participants after the analysis.
If they are negative, the patient West was not exposed to Nile virus. If the result is positive, it just means that the patient has been exposed to the West Nile virus at some point in the past ̵
Although both the VSU and the South Health District know a lot about mosquitoes in the region and those who suffer from severe symptoms of the West Nile virus, there is not much information on those that were exposed, though have no extreme symptoms I do not see any symptoms.
"Since most people are asymptomatic and we do not know the exposure of the West Nile virus in our area, I go door to door and ask the people to go to Lowndes The county health department gives at set times a blood test that is completely free. "
She hopes to complete her study as soon as possible, but that, of course, will depend on the participation of her chance trial.
"It's scary and exciting at the same time," said Butts. "I'm excited about the data we can get out of it and what it means for the community."
Katelyn Umholtz is a reporter for the Valdosta Daily Times. It can be contacted at (229)244-3400 ext. 1256.