What an interesting summer it has been in Georgia this year, with cooler-than-normal temperatures and a significant amount of rainfall and humidity, making outdoor activities more enjoyable – but also providing the perfect environment for mosquitoes.
Because mosquitoes can potentially carry – and transmit – illnesses to humans, it’s best to be aware of the symptoms and how to avoid being bitten in the first place.
West Nile Virus has been identified in 28 states – including Georgia. Symptoms include swollen glands, eye pain, sore throat, and digestive issues including nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, accompanied by abdominal pain. Symptoms appear within 10-14 days of a bite, but 80% of those bitten by a mosquito carrying West Nile Virus experience no symptoms at all.
Eastern Equine Encephalitis is a rare but serious illness carried by mosquitoes that inhabit areas where freshwater hardwood swamps are common. Most people bitten by an EEE-carrying mosquito never develop symptoms. Those who do experience fatigue, high fever, muscle aches, stiff neck, tremors, or confusion, usually within three to 10 days after the bite occurred, and about 1/3 suffer long-term neurological damage or death.
Chikangunya is the newest mosquito-borne illness in the U.S., and has been identified in patients in 31 states. Although many individuals contract the disease when visiting Caribbean countries, chikangunya-carrying mosquitoes have been confirmed in Florida and other Southern states in 2014. Symptoms occur within one to two weeks of a bite, and include a fever up to 104º, rash, arthritis-like joint pain, headache, and insomnia, typically lasting about a week.
Prevention of Mosquito-Borne Illness
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta recommend taking steps to avoid being bitten by a mosquito, including:
- Applying Insect Repellent containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and oil of lemon eucalyptus on exposed skin and clothing when spending time outdoors. Permethrin may be applied to clothing, which provides protection through several washes (do not apply Permethrin directly to skin).
- Wearing Proper Clothing, such as long-sleeve shirts, pants, and socks while outdoors.
- Avoiding Peak Mosquito Hours. Mosquitoes that carry West Nile Virus, for instance, are most active between dusk and dawn.
- Remove Mosquito Breeding Areas by changing water in bird baths and pet bowls often, keeping gutters clear, and dumping standing water from flower pots, children’s toys, and other gathering spaces.
At Windsong Properties, we encourage outdoor living as part of your carefree lifestyle. Wide sidewalks, quiet streets, inviting front porches, and private courtyards are part of the Windsong signature touches – preferably mosquito-free!
Welcome home to Windsong – Where Life’s A Breeze!