New Round of Mosquito Tests Come Up Negative For West Nile Virus In Clay County

Jul 27, 2018
Originally published on July 26, 2018 2:57 pm

Clay County Mosquito Control reports its most recent mosquito samplings have tested negative for the West Nile Virus.

The virus became a concern last week when samplings of mosquitoes collected in the Keystone Heights area tested positive.

The county's mosquito control division upped its operations and said it would continue to do so until no further positive samples were found.

No human cases of have been reported in any area of Clay County.

The West Nile Virus has also been discovered in Southern Georgia this year. 

Last month Valdosta State University found several mosquitoes that tested positive in their labs.

“We see cases of West Nile Virus in mosquito samples every year. When these mosquito samples start coming back positive for West Nile Virus, that is our indicator to just make the community aware that the viruses are here, and that we need to be taking every precaution possible to not be bitten by mosquitoes," said  Courtney Sheeley, Communications Specialist for the Georgia Department of Health last month in an interview with our WFSU sister station.

Mosquito populations on the East Coast are two to three times larger than normal this summer, according to an estimate by the The National Pest Management Association.

In 2017, 47 states had at least one citizen infected with West Nile Virus via mosquito bite. 

Normal mosquito control operations have resumed in Clay County, which includes testing mosquito samples multiple times each week and nightly spraying.

Clay County officials are asking the public to take normal mosquito precautions and offer the following suggestions:

  • Dusk/Dawn are the times of day you should try to stay indoors. This is when infected mosquitos are most active.
  • Dress in long sleeves and long pants when outside. For extra protection, you may want to spray thin clothing with repellent.
  • DEET is an ingredient to look for in your insect repellent. Follow label instructions and always wear repellent when outdoors.
  • Drain standing water in your backyard and neighborhood – old tires, flower pots, clogged rain gutters, etc.  These are mosquito breeding sites.

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at bbortzfield@wjct.org, 904-358-6349 or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.

Photo used under Creative Commons license.

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