Health officials caution to prevent mosquito breeding and bites

Monday, June 23, 2014 6:44 PM
Last updated Tuesday, June 24, 2014 9:37 AM
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The arrival of another mosquito-borne disease in Georgia has Richmond County Mosquito Control on high alert, urging residents to protect themselves from bites and eliminate standing water where mosquitoes breed.

A mosquito on human skin. Guyana is reporting at least 12 more cases of the mosquito-borne virus chikungunya that causes severe joint pain and fever for victims. Health Minister Bheri Ramsarran said the infections occurred near the border with Suriname and about 20 miles from where the first two cases were documented. According to the Centers for Disease Control the chikungunya virus is most often spread to people by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, the same mosquitoes that transmit dengue virus.   USDA/FILE
USDA/FILE
A mosquito on human skin. Guyana is reporting at least 12 more cases of the mosquito-borne virus chikungunya that causes severe joint pain and fever for victims. Health Minister Bheri Ramsarran said the infections occurred near the border with Suriname and about 20 miles from where the first two cases were documented. According to the Centers for Disease Control the chikungunya virus is most often spread to people by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, the same mosquitoes that transmit dengue virus.

Last week, Georgia Department of Public Health confirmed the state’s first human case of chikungunya, a disease that causes severe joint pain and fever. Although not as deadly as West Nile virus or other mosquito-transmitted diseases, local mosquito control officials said it’s just a matter of time before chikungunya shows up in Augusta.

“It’s not if, it’s when,” said Fred Koehle, special projects manager for Richmond County Mosquito Control.

The first Georgia patient with the disease was infected during a recent trip to the Caribbean. Travelers to Africa, Asia and islands in the Indian Ocean and Western Pacific are also at risk.

Infected patients must take extra safeguards against additional mosquito bites, since an infected mosquito can transmit it to another human, according to Georgia DPH. Mosquitoes that carry the disease bite during day and night, and often live around buildings in urban areas.

“This disease can be passed human to mosquito to another human. All we need is an infected human,” Koehle said.

With a new mosquito-related health concern, Koehle said residents need to be even more cautious. Wear mosquito repellent and dump any standing water, he said.

Mosquito control has continued responding to complaints from residents where mosquito populations are problematic, Koehle said.

This summer, residents need to call the city’s 311 service instead of the mosquito control office to report problems. The 311 call center has helped log complaints and improve efficiency responding to them, Koehle said.

So far this summer, complaints have been low but Koehle said the next big rainfall will change that. Mosquitoes need rain in which to inundate eggs to hatch, and several generations of eggs are accumulating during the recent period of dry weather.

HELP CONTROL MOSQUITO DISEASES

• Use insect repellents when you go outdoors, especially from dusk to dawn.

• When weather permits, wear long sleeves, pants and socks outdoors.

• Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes outside.

• Empty standing water from flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, discarded tires and birdbaths.

• Report dead birds to state and local health departments.

**Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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dichotomy
36164
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dichotomy 06/24/14 - 07:29 am
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The arrival of chikungunya

The arrival of chikungunya disease demonstrates the fallacy of cutting the Mosquito Control budget....a critical service that the local government is SUPPOSED to perform.......in favor of spending money on social engineering relocation and redevelopment projects.

Maybe they can get Mark Johnson (garbage FEE man) and Abie Ladison (RAIN TAX man) together with the Mosquito Control folks and come up with a separate, fenced, Mosquito Control TAX to put on our tax bills. You know.....something they CANNOT spend on relocating Section 8 folks to South Augusta.

It seems that in Augusta we have to have a new, separate, tax or fee to pay for BASIC SERVICES that our PROPERTY TAXES are supposed to provide....so why not Mosquito Control.

CouldBeAnyone
13
Points
CouldBeAnyone 06/24/14 - 09:52 am
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Don't blame the County

If you want someone to blame, go yell at our corrupt Federal Government. Contrary to popular belief, the lack of spraying has nothing to do with the Mosquito/Vector Control budget being cut. The reason spraying is not being done is that the County is hamstrung due to a Federal Court ruling (from an Indiana Judge no less), that prohibits spraying in places where the chemicals will end up in the storm water runoff and end up in the river, canal or wetlands, which is damn near the entire county.

Sweet son
11072
Points
Sweet son 06/24/14 - 01:19 pm
0
0
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