West Nile Virus Infection Reported in Montco

The state Department of Health says this is the first probable human case of WNV infection detected in Pennsylvania this year.

The Pennsylvania Departments of Health and Environmental Protection jointly announced on Tuesday that the presence of West Nile Virus has been detected in an unidentified Montgomery County resident – the first probable human case of WNV infection in the state this year.

“Detecting the first human case of West Nile Virus this year serves as a great reminder for Pennsylvanians to take the proper precautions when they are outside or near areas where mosquitoes are prevalent,” Acting Secretary of Health and Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine said in a release. “There are some simple steps you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones from mosquito-related diseases.”

They include:

  • Removing tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots, discarded tires or any objects that could collect standing water. Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers left outdoors.
  • Having roof gutters cleaned every year, particularly if the leaves from nearby trees have a tendency to clog the drains.
  • Turning over plastic wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use.
  • Do not let water stagnate in birdbaths.
  • Aerate ornamental pools, or stock them with fish.
  • Clean and chlorinate swimming pools, and remove standing water from pool covers.
  • Use landscaping to eliminate standing water that collects on your property.
  • Treat standing water that cannot be eliminated with Bti products, which are sold at outdoor supply, home improvement and other stores. Bti is a natural product that kills mosquito larvae, but is safe for people, pets, aquatic life and plants.

State officials strongly recommend that citizens in the region minimize their exposure to mosquitos as much as possible. Insects carrying the potentially deadly disease typically breed in areas with standing and stagnant water. Mosquitos that transmit the disease are most active at dawn and dusk.

“DEP monitors the mosquito population across Pennsylvania,” said PaDEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell. “Today’s announcement serves as a reminder that all Pennsylvanians should take precautions to protect against mosquitoes. Using a personal insect repellant or staying indoors during dawn and dusk will help prevent exposure to mosquitoes.”

The state DEP has found mosquitos carrying West Nile Virus in 36 counties so far this year. Pennsylvania’s fact sheet on WNV and its symptoms can be found here.

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