Second mosquito tests positive for West Nile Virus in Cumberland County this year

CUMBERLAND COUNTY — For the second time this year, a positive mosquito sample for the West Nile virus has been recorded in Cumberland County, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection reports.

The positive sample was collected in the Lemoyne Borough. The first was reported earlier this month in East Pennsboro Township, the DEP says.

West Nile Virus is transmitted by mosquitoes that bite infected birds, then pass it on by biting other birds, animals or humans. It is not spread by person-to-person contact, the DEP says. One in five people infected with the virus develop a mild infection called West Nile Fever, and experience symptoms like aches, fever, skin rash, and swollen lymph nodes. With rest and fluids, most people recover in a few days, according to the DEP.

Less than one percent of infections develop into the life-threatening West Nile Encephalitis, the DEP says. Symptoms in those cases include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, muscle weakness, disorientation, tremors and convulsions. West Nile Encephalitis requires immediate medical attention.

The DEP reminds the public that the best way to prevent mosquitoes near your home is to identify and eliminate potential water habitats. Places where water can collect, like buckets, clogged rainspouts, toys, boats or unattended wading pools can become breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

Containers should be emptied every five days to prevent adult mosquitoes from emerging. If you have a water source that cannot be drained, treat with mosquito dunks or bits that contain Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti), which kills larvae. These products are safe for use around humans and pets, and can be found at hardware and other local retailers.

In the meantime, Cumberland County’s West Nile Virus program will continue to collect and monitor the mosquito population and treat water habitats to limit breeding. No spraying for adult mosquitoes is planned at this time, officials say.

For more information on the West Nile Virus Control Program in Cumberland County and tips on how to protect yourself from WNV, visit http://www.ccpa.net/vector.