Prevent the West Nile Virus in Southeast Georgia

Tip ‘n Toss

 WAYCROSS, GA – It’s mosquito season, and the West Nile virus (WNV) is the leading cause of mosquito-borne disease in the continental United States. The Southeast Health District and your local Health Department are urging residents to clean up around their homes, their yards and their communities by discarding unnecessary items that can hold water. Tip ‘n Toss after every rainfall to reduce the number of mosquitoes and prevent the spread of the West Nile virus in our surrounding counties. As of this date, there are no reported cases in our 16-county jurisdiction, or statewide.

West Nile virus is most commonly spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. In nature, the West Nile virus cycles between mosquitoes and birds. Infected birds can develop high levels of the virus in their bloodstream, and the mosquitoes can become infected by biting the infected birds. After about a week, infected mosquitoes can pass the virus to more birds when they bite. Mosquitoes with the West Nile virus also bite and infect people, horses and other mammals. However, humans, horses and other mammals are ‘dead end’ hosts. This means that they do not develop high levels of virus in their bloodstream and cannot pass the virus on to other biting mosquitoes.

One of the most effective ways of preventing the spread of the West Nile virus and other mosquito-borne diseases is controlling the mosquito population by eliminating standing water around the home and in the yard.

Tip ‘n Toss!  After every rainfall, tip out water in flowerpots, planters, children’s toys and wading pools, and buckets. If it holds water and you don’t need it (old tires, bottles, cans), toss it out. Look for small bodies of water such as drainage ponds, tree stumps and tire ruts. Clean out gutters, remove piles of leaves and keep vegetation cut low to prevent landing sites for adult mosquitoes.

For more information on monitoring and controlling the West Nile virus, visit

The Southeast Health District’s mission is to promote and protect the health of people in Southeast Georgia, wherever they live, work and play, uniting with individuals, families and communities to improve and enhance their quality of life. Southeast Health District serves 17 local county health departments, located in Appling, Atkinson, Bacon, Brantley, Bulloch, Candler, Charlton, Clinch, Coffee, Evans, Jeff Davis, Pierce, Tattnall, Toombs, Ware and Wayne. The main district office is in Waycross, GA. For more information, visit