|First Human Case of West Nile Virus in 2019 Discovered in Our Area
The Department of Environmental Protection reported yesterday that Pennsylvania’s first probable human case of West Nile Virus (WNV) infection in 2019 has been detected in a Philadelphia resident.
Samples are being sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for confirmation, and in the meantime, the Departments of Health and Environmental Protection strongly suggest all residents minimize their exposure to mosquitoes.
Detected by the DEP in 32 counties, the mosquitoes that transmit WNV are most active at dawn and dusk and breed in areas with stagnant water such as urban catch basins, clogged gutters, discarded tires, poorly maintained swimming pools, flower pots and other plastic containers. Avoid bites by using DEET-containing insect repellants and covering exposed skin with lightweight clothing. To eliminate standing water around your home:
- Remove tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots, discarded tires or any object that could collect standing water. Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers left outdoors.
- Have roof gutters cleaned every year, particularly if the leaves from nearby trees have a tendency to clog the drains.
- Turn 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.
For a fact sheet on WNV, including symptoms, please click on the Department of Health’s West Nile Virus Fact Sheet. For more information, including current WNV test results for mosquitoes, birds and horses, visit www.dep.pa.gov/westnile, or call 1-877-PA HEALTH.