Dauphin County’s West Nile Virus (WNV) Control Program has collected additional mosquito samples infected with the virus, bringing the total this year to seven.
An infected sample was collected on August 1 in Susquehanna Township. Two positive samples were collected in West Hanover Township and one East Hanover Township on July 31. Infected mosquito samples were also found in Lower Paxton Township, Paxtang Borough and Washington Township.
“The county’s WNV Control Program is increasing surveillance and control measures to reduce the mosquito population and prevent the virus from spreading,” said Dauphin County Board of Commissioners’ Chairman Jeff Haste, who oversees the program.
Certain species of mosquitoes carry WNV, which, when transmitted to people, can cause West Nile encephalitis, an infection that can result in an inflammation of the brain. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), all residents of areas where virus activity has been identified are at risk of getting West Nile encephalitis.
To reduce your risk, following these recommendations:
- Buy products with Bti (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis)–a naturally-occurring bacteria that kills mosquito larvae but is safe for people, pets and plants–for stagnant pools of water in the lawn and garden.
- Remove any standing water in pots, containers, pool covers, tires, wheelbarrows, wading pools, roof gutters and other containers that hold water.
- Make sure screens fit tightly over doors and windows to keep mosquitoes out of homes.
- Consider wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants and socks when outdoors, particularly when mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk, or in areas known for having large numbers of mosquitoes.
- Reduce outdoor exposure at dawn and dusk during peak mosquito periods, usually April through October.
- Use insect repellents according to the manufacturer’s instructions. An effective repellent will contain DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus. Consult with a pediatrician or family physician if you have questions about the use of repellent on children, as repellent is not recommended for children under the age of two months.
No human cases of WNV have been reported this year in Dauphin County.
To learn more about WNV and prevention, visit the CDC’s Web site at www.cdc.gov/westnile. For more information about Dauphin County’s WNV Control Program, contact Eric Naguski, program coordinator, at 717-921-8100.