Published: Sat, August 11, 2018
Medical | By Jackie Banks

Record mosquito numbers cause West Nile virus threat across Pennsylvania

Record mosquito numbers cause West Nile virus threat across Pennsylvania

The Ada County Mosquito Abatement District says truck-mounted mosquito abatement treatments have begun in both areas while officials continue to monitor and treat mosquito populations across the district boundaries.

No human cases have been reported so far.

Mosquitoes from two traps tested positive for the virus Tuesday.

Common places water can accumulate are outdoor features such as potted plants and birdbaths, yard debris, storage bins, kids' toys (including kiddie pools), rain gutters, and even corrugated downspouts. Wear long-sleeved shirts, long trousers and use repellant with deet.

∫ Remove standing water and water-holding containers from around your home and property. While the majority of people infected with WNV have no symptoms, the virus can cause serious symptoms in some people, especially those over 65 years old and those who are immunocompromised.

"It doesn't take much for several hundred mosquitoes to be born".

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Dallas is not alone in reporting West Nile virus cases.

The disease, which has infected more than 150 people in the past six years, is on track to pose an unusually higher-than-normal risk this year and is widespread throughout the commonwealth, having already been found in 51 Pennsylvania counties as of August 1, including Dauphin.

West Nile is a mosquito transmitted disease which primarily infects birds. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends insect repellents that contain DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, oil of lemon eucalyptus or para-menthane-diol, or 2-undecanone.

Symptoms of West Nile are similar to that of the flu, but only about 20 percent of victims show signs of the disease, which can take three to 14 days to incubate, according to the World Health Organization. The virus is life-threatening for the elderly. "This is an early start to the transmission season for West Nile Virus, and it is concerning that we could see more cases this year in humans than in past years".

Two earlier samples were found in Northfield earlier in July. By the end of 2002, all but one of the state's 88 counties reported positive humans (441 total human cases), mosquitoes, birds or horses.

"The best way to avoid mosquito-borne diseases is to prevent mosquito bites", states the DOH website.

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