West Nile Virus Kills Elderly Dunwoody Woman

By Tim Darnell, Patch Staff


DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. – An elderly Dunwoody woman is reportedly the latest death associated with the West Nile virus. Officials have confirmed the first death from West Nile Virus in DeKalb County this year. Health officials in DeKalb County are warning residents about mosquito-born illness after multiple cases of West Nile Virus were discovered in insects in the county. The DeKalb County Board of Health reports that trapped mosquitoes that were carrying the virus at nine different locations. That amounts to one-third of all of the county’s mosquito trapping locations.

In July, the county’s first cases of West Nile of the year were recorded at a trap in the southeast of Tucker.

The woman was reported to be in her 90s, according to Channel 2.

West Nile is most commonly spread to people by mosquito bites. About one in five people infected with West Nile develop a fever and other symptoms, and about one in 150 develop serious, sometimes fatal illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

West Nile can cause encephalitis, or swelling of the brain, in those extreme cases.

In DeKalb, health officials are making door-to-door visits in areas where West Nile has been confirmed. During mosquito season, which runs from summer through fall, they are urging the public to do the following to avoid West Nile:

  • Reduce mosquito breeding in your yard by eliminating standing water in gutters and items such as planters, toys, wheelbarrows and old tires.
  • Discourage mosquitoes from resting in your yard by trimming tall grass, weeds and vines.
  • Reduce outdoor exposure at dawn and dusk, when the mosquitoes that transmit West Nile virus are most active.
  • Wear a long-sleeved shirt, long pants and socks when outdoors, particularly at dawn and dusk and in areas with large numbers of mosquitoes.
  • Make sure window and door screens fit tightly to keep out mosquitoes.
  • Use an insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535. Apply according to label instructions.
  • Spray clothing with products containing permethrin according to label instructions.

For more information about the West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne illnesses, contact the DeKalb County Board of Health’s Environmental Health Division at (404) 508-7900 or visit its website.