West Nile Virus cases reported in Middle Georgia, according to health district

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The Georgia Department of Public Health has confirmed seven cases of the West Nile Virus in the state, resulting in one death.

Michael Hokanson, with the North Central Health District, confirms there have been under 5 cases reported in the district. Hokanson says he is not able to tell us how many cases exactly and in which counties.

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Chris Cookman, owner of Mosquito Joe in Bolingbroke, wasn’t surprised when he heard reports of the West Nile Virus in Middle Georgia.

“The mosquito pressure is really high because of the rain,” said Cookman.

Hokanson, with the North Central Health District, says the virus can be passed on to humans and animals through mosquitoes.



“West Nile Virus is one of those odd ones where 8 out of 10 people won’t show symptoms whatsoever,” said Hokanson. “Of the people that do show symptoms. What they’re going to see if headaches, joint pain, fever, tiredness and fatigue.”

It can often be deadly, so you will want to take precaution, especially around your home.

“If you’re going to store buckets or debris around your shed, you’ll want to have your buckets turned upside down so that water can’t accumulate, that way it removes a water source for mosquitoes to lay their eggs,” said Cookman.

Cookman says even something as small as a bottle cap filled with water, can make it easy for mosquitoes to lay their eggs.

“Another couple of things you can do is wear light colored clothes, they’re attracted to more dark colored clothes. If you can avoid being out at dusk, that’s usually when they prey more,” said Cookman.

Mosquito repellent will especially decrease your chances of being a victim of the virus. Cookman says you need to look at the label to make sure it has 20 to 30% DEET, a repellent ingredient.