Mosquito Tests Positive For West Nile Virus In Chatham Co.

The West Nile virus is back in Chatham County. The Director of Chatham County Mosquito Control said a mosquito from the Garden City area tested positive for the virus. It’s the first case of the year.

Director Jeff Heusel said this finding isn’t that worrisome because it’s late in the game.

“Usually if it’s going to be an active year we usually have several of them by now, possibly even more. We had one year where we had an area that just every time we sent in a sample we had positive mosquitoes,” said Heusel.

The pest that tested positive is known as the Southern House Mosquito and there is some good news about it.

“The particular mosquito transmits this virus from bird to bird and it actually prefers birds over humans. It doesn’t really bite humans that often,” said Heusel.

This mosquito also has a favorite hiding place.

“You would normally find it if you had an old septic tank, the lid was broken on it and storm drains especially if there was a lot of debris or trash you would have them in there,” said Heusel.

Heusel said he doesn’t think they’ll see too many more cases.

“We basically monitor the mosquito population for that particular mosquito on a regular basis. Once we see the number of mosquitoes in those traps get to a certain point we are going to treat anyway to keep down the chance that there is going to be a problem if West Nile shows up,” said Heusel.

The CDC has some precautions you can take from getting bit like limiting outdoor activity at dusk and dawn, reduce the amount of exposed skin, use insect repellent containing DEET and empty containers of standing water.

Mosquito control will spray tomorrow in Garden City to help get rid of these pests.


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