By Raymond King, District Director of Environmental Health 

Where did all these mosquitoes come from Cartoon x smFor mosquito control around your home, your time and money are usually best spent killing mosquito larvae on and around your property. Many homeowners only focus on killing adult mosquitoes and ignore the mosquito larvae, which are easier and less expensive to kill. By all means, kill adult mosquitoes but don’t forget about where they came from.

The mosquitoes biting you probably came from the larvae in standing water on your own property or a nearby neighbor’s property. The two species that can carry the Zika virus, the Asian tiger mosquito and the “Yellow Fever Mosquito” (Aedes aegypti), normally don’t go much farther than 600 to 1000 feet from where they hatched.

Whenever I investigate mosquito complaints, I usually find the mosquito larvae right there on the property of the complainant. On one such investigation, the complainant wanted the county to come spray for adult mosquitoes, which were extremely numerous. When I got to the home, the property owner had thirty or more 5-gallon buckets around her barn and house catching rainwater. There were hundreds of mosquito larvae in every bucket.

Most of the time, mosquito larvae are not as obvious as in 5-gallon buckets. We don’t think about places around our homes where even small amounts of water are breeding mosquitoes. The Asian tiger mosquito and the yellow fever mosquito need only a couple of ounces of water for their larvae. These two mosquito species are called “container-breeders” because they only lay their eggs in small amounts of water as you would find in cans, stopped-up gutters and very small pools of water. They do not lay eggs in large pools of standing water, although other mosquitoes will.

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Local Hepatitis C Prevalence Project underway



HepCTesting-md.jpgNORTH GEORGIA – Free Hepatitis C Testing is provided at county health departments in North Georgia!

As part of a statewide Hepatitis C prevalence initiative in Georgia, the North Georgia Health District is conducting the Hepatitis C Prevalence Project (HCPP), which is providing data on occurrences of Hepatitis C in the health district via free testing to those who are at higher risk of being infected with the virus. This is a two-step process that identifies and supports individuals who are living with the Hepatitis C virus (HCV).

Hepatitis C is a contagious and sometimes persistent infection that can lead to lifelong liver disease. The Hepatitis C virus is mainly transmitted via contact with blood of an infected person. Most people are unaware they are infected because they don’t look or feel sick.

But the virus can be detected through blood tests.

Therefore, the first step in the district’s HCPP process is to identify HCV infected residents through free rapid Hepatitis C virus testing at health departments in Cherokee, Fannin, Gilmer, Murray, Pickens and Whitfield Counties. These tests can produce a preliminary result in 20 minutes by using a finger stick test.

Anyone who falls within one or more of the following categories is at higher risk for HCV and is urged to take advantage of this free rapid Hepatitis C testing:

  • Born between 1945 and 1965
  • Past or present injection drug use
  • Sharing of any drug equipment
  • HIV positive
  • Blood transfusions prior to 1992
  • Clotting factors prior to 1987
  • Sexual partner of someone who is Hepatitis C positive
  • Tattoo or body piercing in an unprofessional setting

For clients who test positive in the first step, the second step is to confirm the results by drawing a blood sample that will be sent to the Georgia Public Health Laboratory for further testing.

Once a positive test result has been confirmed, each health department assists clients in linking to services in their area. Those that qualify can enroll in the Mono Infected Hepatitis C Treatment program at the Whitfield County Health Department.

All clients are also counseled on the importance of healthy habits (avoiding alcohol and drugs, including many over-the-counter drugs), ways to reduce spread of the virus, getting contacts tested, and getting assistance to reduce the risky behaviors that exposed them to Hepatitis C in the first place. And, though there currently is no vaccine for Hepatitis C, clients are counseled on getting vaccinated against Hepatitis A and B. 

Testing is offered Mondays through Thursdays at all county health departments in the North Georgia Health District. Test days will be affected by health department closings for events such as holidays and hazardous weather.

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“Sickly” raccoon in Ellijay tests positive for rabies

Sickly looking raccoonEllijay (GA) A raccoon that was recently found in a residential area of Ellijay in Gilmer County, Georgia has now tested positive for rabies.


The raccoon was out during the daytime on May 9 and appeared to be sickly as it wandered in the campground area of Coosawattee River Resort, a gated community in Ellijay. A resident, concerned about the danger the raccoon might have posed to people and pets in the neighborhood, shot the animal so it could be tested for rabies.

The raccoon was tested by the Georgia Department of Public Health Laboratory on May 10 and the positive results were reported on May 11.

There was no known human or domestic animal exposure to the raccoon.

Health officials are continuing to remind the public to avoid all wild animals and pet owners should maintain rabies vaccinations in their pets. If a pet receives an initial one-year vaccine, it can receive a three-year rabies vaccination on the following year.


Rabies is prevalent in wild animals such as raccoons and skunks but can be found in coyotes, foxes, bats, bobcats and other wild carnivores. Rodents and opossums are rarely found with rabies, but a bite from any wild mammal should cause concern and be reported to a healthcare provider and the local environmental health office.


Children should be warned to avoid contact with wild mammals and any stray dog or cat and to report any contact with these animals to an adult right away.

For more information about rabies and its prevention, log onto the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website at https://www.cdc.gov/rabies/.


Request for Proposals Due May 31, 2017

RFP image for blog postNORTH GEORGIA HEALTH DISTRICT - The Living Bridge Center is requesting proposals for 2 separate items: 1) The Installation of New Flooring, 2) Renovation/Construction in the building located at 1200 West Waugh, Suite A, in Dalton Georgia. Proposals will be evaluated to determine the most advantageous based on vendor experience and qualifications as well as total cost. Sealed proposals are due no later than 1 p.m. on Wednesday, May 31, 2017. Proposals are to be mailed or hand delivered to the attention of Stephen Tonya, Financial Operations & Services Manager of the North Georgia Health District - Please see attachments for all details, including mailing instructions and specifications.

Download this file (ATTACHMENT- RFP - Flooring 2-1 - 5-18-2017.PNG)RFP - Flooring: ATTACHMENT[Building Sketch]163 kB
Download this file (BUILDING SKETCH - RFP Renovations - 2 - 5-18-2017.PNG)RFP - Renovations: ATTACHMENT[Building Sketch]162 kB
Download this file (IMG_1173.PNG)List of Renovations for 1200 Waugh Street, Dalton, GA[ATTACHMENT]184 kB
Download this file (RFP - Flooring 2-1 - 5-18-2017.PNG)RFP - Flooring 2-1 - 5-18-2017[Proposal Details]359 kB
Download this file (RFP - Renovations - 2 - 5-18-2017.PNG)Renovations - 2 - 5-18-2017[Proposal Details]353 kB


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