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By David Ibata
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Fulton County has received 20 positive test returns for the West Nile virus, the county’s Department of Health Services reported Thursday.
The Georgia Department of Public Health notified the county that the virus was detected at the Greensferry Combined Sewer Overflow, Whitter Mill Park, Frankie Allen Park, 1388 West Ave., the Atlanta Mounted Police Station, the Tanyard Creek Combined Sewer Overflow, and the H.J.C. Bowden Senior Multi-Purpose Center in East Point.
The tests results identified 20 mosquito "pools," mosquitoes of a specific species at a specific time and place that test positive for the virus.
“August begins the peak season for West Nile Virus,” Dr. Patrice A. Harris, director of Fulton Health Services, said in a news release. “The identification of these pools is a reminder to all of us to take precautions when outdoors.”
County health officials recommend that people avoid activity at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active; use insect repellent containing an EPA-approved active ingredient such as DEET, Picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus; eliminate standing water outdoors, and change the water in birdbaths and small wading pools at least once a week.
Mosquitoes that feed on West Nile-infected birds can spread the disease to humans, officials said. Most people who get bitten by such insects do not get sick, and fewer than 1 percent of infected humans develop serious illness such as encephalitis. But those with chronic medical conditions are at greater risk.
For more information about the disease and its prevention, call the county’s Mosquito Hotline, 404-730-5296; or contact the Fulton County Department of Health Services, Division of Environmental Health at 404-613-1301 or online at www.fultoncountygahealth.org.