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Mosquito-borne Viral Diseases

Several mosquito-borne viruses circulate in Georgia each year and are capable of causing disease in humans and other animals. The most common mosquito-borne viruses in Georgia include West Nile virus, Eastern Equine encephalitis virus, and LaCrosse virus. Saint Louis encephalitis virus has also been detected in Georgia in the past. Mosquito-borne viruses are most active late spring through early fall in Georgia.

Related Links

Public Health

Georgia Department of Agriculture, Animal Industry Information
The Animal Industry Division of the Georgia Department of Agriculture is responsible for monitoring, detecting, and controlling over 100 animal diseases that can have a significant impact on the agricultural economy and trade, or that can be contagious to both animals and people (i.e. zoonoses). This includes West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis.

OASIS Arboviral Infections Surveillance in Georgia
With these tools you can view maps and data tables displaying arboviral infections (West Nile Virus (WNV), Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), etc.) by county. The data available include infected birds, horses, humans, and mosquitoes for 2003 through the current year.

West Nile Virus Fact Sheets in Multiple Languages
The DeKalb County Board of Health has West Nile fact sheets available in several different languages.

West Nile Virus Information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The CDC website provides national surveillance data for West Nile virus and other arboviruses.

USGS West Nile Virus Maps for the United States
The United States Geological Survey displays national and state maps of West Nile virus and other arbovirus surveillance data.

Mosquito Control

Be an Educated Consumer!
From University of Florida: There are many devices on the market advertised to control mosquitoes. The advertisements for these devices are aimed at the average homeowner. How do you know if they will work? It is unfortunate that many advertisements take advantage of the concerns we have to protect family members from mosquito-borne disease. This factsheet is provided to assist homeowners in smart decision-making when it comes to protecting the health of you and your family.

Georgia Mosquito Control Association
Providing Support for the Mosquito Control Profession in Georgia

University of Florida: Mosquito Information Website
Maps and charts of mosquito-borne diseases in Florida.

The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials
The Association of State and Territorial Health Officials publication, "Public Health Confronts the Mosquito: Developing Sustainable State and Local Mosquito Control Programs".

EPA: Pesticides: Mosquito Control
Mosquitoes can be annoying and sometimes pose a serious risk to public health. In certain areas of the United States, mosquitoes can transmit diseases like West Nile Virus and equine encephalitis. To combat mosquitoes and the public health hazards they present, many federal agencies, states and localities have established mosquito control programs.

Information for the Public

Mosquito-borne viruses can infect birds, horses, and other animals in addition to humans. If public health reports positive birds or horses in your area, or if you see large numbers of mosquitoes, you could be at increased risk of infection. Always take personal protective measures to avoid mosquito bites, especially when mosquito-borne viruses have been identified near you.

Publications for Public Use

Fight the Bite:  Methods to Reduce the Risk of Mosquito-Borne Diseases

Mosquito Traps and the Use of Octenol

Choosing the Right Repellents

Mosquito Control FAQ

Information on Repellents:

Mosquito-borne Disease Frequently Asked Questions:
The mosquito-borne viruses found in Georgia are very different from one another but are spread in the same way, by the bite of an infected mosquito. They all cause similar illnesses in humans, including severe diseases such as encephalitis. Infection with one mosquito-borne virus does not provide protection against all other mosquito-borne viruses.

Publications for Public Use:
Mosquito-borne viral diseases are best prevented by taking personal protective measures to avoid mosquito bites. Personal protective measures include wearing repellent containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus, ensuring mosquitoes cannot enter your home through open doors or windows or through screens with tears in them, and avoiding outdoor activity when mosquitoes are most active. You should also eliminate standing water around your home where mosquitoes may be breeding.

Reporting Dead Birds – Dead birds can be reported to your local county environmental health department. The county will record the location of the bird for mapping purposes, and may pick up the bird for testing.

Information for Healthcare Providers and Laboratories

Information for Healthcare Providers and Laboratories:
The mosquito-borne viruses found in Georgia cause similar clinical manifestations. Healthcare providers are encouraged to consider all mosquito-borne viruses in Georgia (West Nile virus, Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus, LaCrosse virus, and St. Louis Encephalitis virus) when an arboviral infection is suspected in a patient.

Testing for West Nile Virus – Forms and Instructions:
Commercial tests to detect WNv and other arbovirus antibodies are readily available at most commercial laboratories. During 2009, GDPH recommends that diagnostic testing for human arbovirus infections be performed at commercial laboratories. The Georgia Public Health Laboratory (GPHL) can perform testing for serologic evidence of infection with each of the arboviruses that circulate in Georgia, but due to limited resources, specimens will not be tested by GPHL unless they meet the testing criteria. Please call the Georgia Department of Public Health (404-657-2588) or the appropriate District Health Office before submitting specimens for arboviral testing to assure that the criteria are met for testing at GPHL and all necessary forms are completed. If needed, specimens with positive results for WNv or other arboviruses at commercial laboratories can be confirmed at GPHL. Please do not submit specimens unless testing criteria are met; ineligible specimens will not be tested.

West Nile Virus Georgia Epidemiology Reports:
The arrival of West Nile virus in the United States led to the development of improved mosquito-borne surveillance programs in Georgia. Each year, the Georgia Department of Public Health publishes a Georgia Epidemiology Report (GER) highlighting surveillance findings and announcing future plans.

Information for Health Departments and Districts

Information for Health Departments and Districts:
Dead bird and mosquito testing is no longer provided free of charge through the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study at University of Georgia in Athens, although a few counties are still doing some limited testing either through Environmental Health or through mosquito control.

Dead Bird Surveillance:
Dead bird surveillance provides general information about when and where West Nile Virus is present in an area. Monitoring and mapping dead bird calls provides a means of determining where virus transmission may be occurring and presents an opportunity to educate callers about reducing their risk for arboviral diseases.

Mosquito Surveillance:
Surveillance for mosquitoes provides information on species type and population. Positive mosquitoes indicate risk of West Nile virus is increasing, but even increases in Culex spp populations can indicate a higher risk of disease locally.

Surveillance Data

Past Surveillance Summaries