Additional West Nile Virus-infected mosquito samples found in Dauphin County

WESTNILE

DAUPHIN COUNTY, Pa.– The Dauphin County Conservation District has collected additional West Nile Virus-infected mosquito samples, bringing the total to five this year.

The most recent infected samples were collected in the City of Harrisburg, Derry Township and Paxtang Borough. Infected mosquitoes were also found in Washington Township. No human cases of West Nile Virus (WNV) have been reported this year in Dauphin County.

“The county’s WNV Control Program is continuing to closely monitor conditions and implement 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 Conservation District.

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.

“Mosquitoes thrive in hot, humid weather,” said Commissioner Mike Pries. “Although the risk of getting sick from the virus is low, people with compromised immune systems are most likely to become ill and develop severe complications.”

The following precautions 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.

“The easiest way to protect yourself and your family is to wear insect repellent,” said Commissioner George P. Hartwick, III. “West Nile Virus is a dangerous disease, particularly for young children and older adults.”

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 Christopher Hooper, program coordinator, at 717-921-8100.

SOURCE: Dauphin County Office of Commissioners