Gwinnett West Nile death

4:50 PM, Sep 27, 2012   |    comments
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GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. --  Someone in Gwinnett County died after contracting the West Nile virus.

Due to HIPPA laws, details about the victim can not be released.

Two cases of West Nile Virus were reported among Gwinnett County residents in late August and September.

The 78-year-old who was hospitalized died, while a a 53-year-old recovered.

"Protection and prevention are two important areas to focus on,"says Alana Sulka, Director of Epidemiology for Gwinnett, Newton, and Rockdale County Health Departments. 

Here are some tips to keep you and your family safe:

Dusk/Dawn: Mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus usually bite at dusk and dawn. 

Dress: If you must be outside, be sure to wear loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirts and pants to reduce the amount of exposed skin.

Defend: Coveri exposed skin with an insect repellent containing the chemical DEET, which is the most effective repellent against mosquito bites. The concentration of DEET varies among repellents. Repellents with DEET concentrations of 30-35% are quite effective, and the effect should last about 4 hours. Lower concentrations (no more than 10% DEET) are recommended for use on children.

Drain: Eliminate stagnant water around your home, where mosquitoes can lay eggs, by disposing of old tin cans, jars, tires, plant pots, and any other container that can hold water. Empty birdbaths, lily ponds, small wading pools, etc. at least once a week. Properly maintain backyard swimming pools to discourage the development of mosquitoes. Areas that hold water that cannot be drained - such as ponds and gutters - can be treated with larvicide.

Doors: Make sure your home, porch, and patio have tight-fitting doors and screens that keep mosquitoes out.  Consider using lights that do not attract insects.  

While most people may not develop symptoms, the elderly, those with compromised immune systems, or those with other underlying conditions are at greater risk for complications.

Symptoms of West Nile Virus include headache, fever, neck discomfort, muscle and joint aches, swollen lymph nodes and a rash that usually develop two to 15 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. 

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