In Atlanta, enjoying the outdoors to the fullest takes some planning. To take advantage of the warm weather without being sidelined by the heat or developing a sunburn, seeking shade, wearing sunscreen and drinking enough fluids are important.
In addition to the itchy, red bumps that accompany mosquito bites, outdoor enthusiasts also must be aware of West Nile Virus, a strain of mosquito-borne encephalitis that was first detected in the United States in 1999.
West Nile Virus infects fewer than 1% of the mosquito population, so the chance of contracting the disease is rare. Healthy adults who are bitten by an infected mosquito rarely experience any symptoms at all, or they may suffer from mild flu-like symptoms (fever, body ache, vomiting or skin rash), 7 to 14 days after exposure occurs.
However, for older adults and those with immune system disorders, or who suffer from health disorders such as heart disease/high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease or cancer, West Nile Virus can have serious consequences.
Thankfully, there are some very simple things people can do to avoid coming in contact with West Nile-infected mosquitoes:
- stay indoors at dawn and dusk, when mosquito populations are most active
- avoid areas where standing water is common, such as marsh land or detention ponds
- remove standing water from your property – clean gutters, change the water in bird baths, empty water that collects in landscaping decorations, etc. – where mosquitoes can breed
- wear long-sleeve shirts and long pants if you will be outdoors during high-risk hours
- use mosquito repellent that contains DEET (be sure to follow directions carefully)
- use/maintain window screens to minimize the opportunity for mosquitoes to enter your home
While no treatment exists to “cure” West Nile Virus in those who have been affected, medical professionals encourage anyone who is experiencing flu-like symptoms, confusion, dizziness or muscle weakness after being bitten by a mosquito, to visit their health care professional, who can prescribe medication to make symptoms more bearable, and to decrease the risk of more serious complications.
Outdoor activities are popular and easy to participate in at each Windsong community. With walkable streets, a community clubhouse, wide front porches and inviting private courtyards, Windsong homeowners enjoy walking, socializing, gardening, and a host of other opportunities to get outside and keep the “active” in “Active Adult.”
Features and amenities that invite activity while minimizing maintenance hassles are part of every community at Windsong – Where Life’s A Breeze!