More West Nile Virus samples test positive in Dauphin County
HARRISBURG, Pa. – Dauphin County’s West Nile Virus (WNV) Control Program recently found infected mosquito samples in the City of Harrisburg, Derry Township and East Hanover Township, bringing the total number of positive samples collected this year to nine. WNV-infected samples have also been collected in Jefferson Township, Highspire and Middletown Boroughs and Swatara Township.
To reduce the mosquito population and prevent the virus from spreading, the county’s WNV Control Program is increasing surveillance and control measures throughout the county.
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. Symptoms of WNV include fever, headache, body aches, nausea and sometimes swollen lymph glands or skin rash. 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.
The following tips are recommended:
• 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.
To learn more about WNV and prevention, visit the CDC’s Web site at http://www.cdc.gov/westnile. For more information about Dauphin County’s WNV Control Program, contact Christopher Hooper, program coordinator, at 717-921-8100.
No human cases of WNV have been reported this year in Dauphin County. A Venango County woman is hospitalized with the first human case of West Nile Virus.