DECATUR, Ga. -- DeKalb County is reporting another spike in the number of mosquitoes testing positive for the West Nile Virus this week.

Infected mosquitoes were captured in Brookhaven, Decatur, Dunwoody, and Tucker.

Numbers are up 38% this week, building upon a 300% increase last week.

Atlanta is ranked #1 on the Orkin Mosquitoes Cities List for the fifth year in a row.

According to the CDC:

  • Symptoms of severe illness include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis.
  • Severe illness can occur in people of any age; however, people over 60 years of age are at greater risk. People with certain medical conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease, and people who have received organ transplants, are also at greater risk.
  • Recovery from severe illness might take several weeks or months. Some effects to the central nervous system might be permanent.
  • About 1 out of 10 people who develop severe illness affecting the central nervous system die.

Precautions include:

  • Eliminating standing water in gutters and items such as planters, toys, wheelbarrows and old tires to get rid of breeding grounds.
  • Trimming grass, weeds and vines to discourage mosquitoes from resting in the yard.
  • Reducing outdoor exposure at dawn and dusk when the type of mosquitoes that carry the virus are most active.
  • Wearing a long-sleeved shirt, long pants and socks when outdoors - especially at dusk and dawn.
  • Making sure window and door screens fit securely to keep the insects out of the home.
  • Using insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535 and follow the instructions when using them.
  • Spraying clothing with products containing permethrin.

For those that get West Nile, there is no vaccine or specific treatments though over-the-counter pain relievers can be used to reduce fever and relieve various symptoms.

Some with severe symptoms may have to go to the hospital. Though symptoms can vary in severity, anyone who thinks they have West Nile should speak with a doctor.

Residents can find out more about the virus at the county's West Nile website or on the CDC's online fact sheet.