Mosquitoes usually are considered a nuisance pest, but occasionally they can transmit viruses to people and some animals. These viruses can cause illness and even death. While your chances of being infected with a disease through a mosquito bite are very small, there are simple steps you can take to reduce your risk of being bitten.

West Nile Virus

West Nile Virus is a mosquito-born virus that can cause encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) or meningitis (inflammation of the lining of the brain and spinal cord). West Nile Virus is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito.

Mosquitoes become infected after biting a bird that carries the virus. Birds are the primary reservoir host for West Nile Virus. Fulton County Public Health submits birds to the Wildlife Pathology Lab for testing to confirm West Nile Virus. This will ensure monitoring of the spread of the disease and risk to humans. The Public Health Program Assistant and the Public Community Health Worker perform Mosquito identification and monitoring. BTI briquettes (a biological larval control) are placed in municipal storm drains that have standing water to reduce the risk of disease.

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