Published: Sun, August 05, 2018
Medical | By Vernon Walton

Pa. health officials warn about West Nile as suspected infection tested

Pa. health officials warn about West Nile as suspected infection tested

About one in five will develop flu-like symptoms that can include fever, headache, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash.

But the recent dry and warm weather was flawless for the mosquito species called Culex tarsalis - which carry the West Nile Virus. Last year, there were six reported cases in the state. Our goal is for that to be the only one.

Governor Wolf's administration is taking several specific initiatives to combat this little-known virus.

Humans can contract West Nile virus from a mosquito bite. Governor Wolf and the legislature also recently approved a $140,000 increase to the program's budget. These efforts will be ongoing until the first hard frost of the year. The natural hosts of the virus are birds. "Get rid of even small amounts of standing water around your home". Bird baths, clogged gutters and kiddie pools are common breeding sites.

DUSK and DAWN are when mosquitoes are most active.

The disease is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito.

The best way to prevent infection from any mosquito-borne illness, including West Nile Virus, is to use mosquito repellent that contains DEET and by covering up during outdoor activities - wearing shoes, socks, long trousers and a long-sleeved shirt.

To combat the risk of infection, residents are advised to use mosquito repellent, wear long trousers and sleeves to cover exposed skin, and avoid areas where mosquitoes congregate.

A horse also tested positive for the virus in Owyhee County on July 27. These operations are conducted when and where deemed necessary based on recent population survey results.

"We are detecting more West Nile virus-infected mosquitoes, including those that readily feed on humans, than is typical for this time of year", said Dr. Philip Armstrong, Medical Entomologist at the CAES.

West Nile Virus symptoms can appear 3 to 14 days after an infection.

Fairfax County health officials said they've seen a "large increase" in mosquitoes carrying the virus.

Ann Garvey says this death related to West Nile is tragic, and reminds Iowans to protect themselves and their families from mosquitoes.

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