Th Champ F P, Fay, Agt 2, 2013 Pag 3A
Rainy weather causing increase in snake and mosquito bites
by Carla Parker email@example.comThe recent rainy weather in the metro Atlanta areahas done more than causetrees to fall and sinkholes toform.According to the Geor-gia Poison Center, the rainhas caused snakes to comeout in the open more of-ten. Georgia Poison Cen-ter Medical Director Dr.
have been 261 snake bites
reported in Georgia since
January, including 13 in
DeKalb County. There were
252 snake bites reported
in the same time period in
2012. However, DeKalb had
the same number of snake
bites reported in 2012 fromJanuary to July.
Gellery said snakes goout and hunt for food after the rain stops.“They’re hunting to feedthemselves in a short periodof time,” he said. “So theytend to overlap more with people.”Gellery said snakes areeverywhere in Georgia,even in high population cit-ies and urban areas.
“They were here rst and
we intruded on their space,”
he said. “As we expand
our living spaces we’re in-truding on their space. Soit’s very common to have[snake bites] happen.”Atlanta has a variety of snakes living in the city. Thevenomous snakes in the areainclude copperheads, rattlesnakes and cottonmouths.The most common nonven-omous snakes are black rac-ers and king snakes. Gellerysaid there could be other types of snakes in the area but they are not fully identi-
ed because people do not
get a chance to look at them.“When a snake strikes itdisappears quickly and youdon’t get a good look at it,”he said.If a person is bitten bya snake, Gellery said, it isimportant for that person toobserve the snake and try toremember as much as pos-sible about how the snakelooks.“Once you do that thencall the Georgia PoisonCenter for assistance be-cause we manage venomoussnakes somewhat differentlythan snakes that are non-venomous,” he said. “Andwe will make sure to assistthem in getting to the righthospital that is close to themthat would treat a snake bite.”Gallery said it is best for a snake bite victim to callthe Georgia Poison Center
before calling 911.
“Sometimes you don’t
need 911 if the snake isn’t
poisonous,” he said. “We’re
available 24/7, 365 days a
year with no direct chargeto the caller because we’re paid by state and federaldollars.”The Georgia Poison Cen-ter emergency and informa-
tion number is (404) 616-900. The toll free number is1 (800) 222-1222.
Mosquitoes have also become a problem in thearea due to the heavy rainover the past two months.The DeKalb County Board
of Health announced on July25 that a routine collection
of mosquitoes has tested positive for the virus. This
is the rst report of positive
mosquitoes in metro Atlantathis year.The Georgia Department
of Public Health conrmedon July 8 the state’s rst
case of West Nile Virus in
2013. The adult patient from
Brantley County was in-fected in May and recoveredwithout hospitalization or complications, according tothe Georgia Department of Public Health.Georgia Department of Public Health entomologistDr.
said ina press release that standingwater is a breeding groundfor mosquitoes that may be infected with West NileVirus.“In the heat of summer,
it can take less than 10 days
to go from egg to adult mos-quito,” she said.Residents can reducethe number of mosquitoesaround their homes by emp-tying standing water from
containers, including ow
-erpots, gutters, buckets, poolcovers, pet water dishes,discarded tires, and bird- baths–anything that holdswater and gives mosquitoes
a place to ourish.
According to the Geor-gia Department of PublicHealth, mosquitoes carryingWest Nile Virus usually biteat dusk and dawn, so theagency advises avoiding or limiting outdoor activity atthese times. It also recom-
mends wearing loose-tting,
long sleeved shirts and pants
to reduce exposure. The
health agency said thosegoing outside should cover
exposed skin with an insect
repellent containing theDEET, which is the mosteffective repellent againstmosquito bites. Also, it ishelpful to make sure doorsand windows are in good
repair and t tightly, and x
torn or damaged screens tokeep mosquitoes out of thehouse.For more information,visit www.health.state.ga.us.
pleAse recycle this pAper
The number of snake and mosquito bites has risen due to the recent rainy weather.