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Mosquito numbers prompt health emergency

Liberty, Long not covered by declaration

POSTED: May 5, 2009 9:52 a.m.
ALBANY - Time to break out the bug spray and citronella candles across south Georgia counties.

Georgia health officials urged citizens Monday to take precautions because the mosquito population has grown dramatically in the wake of last month's heavy rainfall and flooding.

A health emergency was declared in Ben Hill, Berrien, Brooks, Cook, Echols, Irwin, Lanier, Lowndes, Tift and Turner counties.

Its a good idea to avoid outdoor activity during peak mosquito hours at dawn and dusk and to make sure not to leave standing water around where mosquitoes can breed.

Big increase in Valdosta

VALDOSTA (AP) - Health authorities in south Georgia have declared a health emergency for Lowndes County because of an extremely high volume of mosquitoes in the area.

South District Health Director Dr. Lynne Feldman said recent flooding has caused the increase. The number of mosquitoes caught in traps in Lowndes County has increased from an average of nine per trap a month ago to an average of 786 per trap now.

Mosquitoes can spread West Nile virus and other diseases. No mosquito-borne disease has been detected in the area so far.

The declaration of emergency is meant to give the county priority status and resources to help enhance mosquito control.

Residents are encouraged to take precautions to prevent mosquito bites.


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