Wednesday, May 3, 2017

First Positive Test in Pennsylvania for the West Nile Virus in Mosquitos Found in Schuylkill County

The first positive test for the West Nile Virus in Mosquitos was found in Schuylkill County this week.

According to a press release from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, a mosquito that was tested on April 21 in the borough of Cressona came back positive. 

DEP has collected 87 samples, and tested 12, with only 1 coming back positive.

Schuylkill County has been upgraded from Low Risk to Moderate Risk for the virus after the positive test.

Program staff will follow up with additional surveillance and control as needed.

Ways to Prevent the West Nile Virus

The most effective way to avoid West Nile virus disease is to prevent mosquito bites. Be aware of the West Nile virus activity in your area and take action to protect yourself and your family.

Avoid Mosquito Bites
Use insect repellents when you go outdoors. Repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol products provide longer-lasting protection. To optimize safety and effectiveness, repellents should be used according to the label instructions.

When weather permits, wear long sleeves, long pants, and socks when outdoors. Mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing, so spraying clothes with repellent containing permethrin or another EPA-registered repellent will give extra protection. Don't apply repellents containing permethrin directly to skin. Do not spray repellent on the skin under your clothing.

Take extra care during peak mosquito biting hours. Take extra care to use repellent and protective clothing from dusk to dawn or consider avoiding outdoor activities during these times.

Mosquito-Proof Your Home - Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes outside. Use your air conditioning, if you have it.

Help reduce the number of mosquitoes around your home by emptying standing water from flowerpots, gutters, buckets, pool covers, pet water dishes, discarded tires, and birdbaths on a regular basis.

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