Reminded to Take Steps to Avoid Infection
Harrisburg – Pennsylvania’s first probable
human case of West Nile Virus (WNV) infection in 2014 has been detected. A
Philadelphia County man was hospitalized due to WNV. He has since recovered.
departments of Health and Environmental Protection strongly recommend that all
residents minimize their exposure to mosquitoes.
the first human case serves as a great reminder for Pennsylvanians to take the
proper precautions when they are outside or near areas where mosquitoes are
prevalent,” Secretary of Health Michael Wolf said. “There are some simple steps
you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones from mosquito-related
mosquitoes can bite at any time of day or night, they are most active at dawn
and dusk. When outdoors, people can avoid mosquito bites by properly and
consistently using DEET-containing insect repellants and covering exposed skin
with lightweight clothing. To keep mosquitoes from entering a home, make sure
window and door screens are in place and are in good condition.
of Environmental Protection (DEP) conducts regular surveillance and control to
manage mosquito populations around the state. So far, DEP has detected
WNV-infected mosquitoes in 32 counties. However, it is likely that WNV is
present in other areas as well.
we encourage Pennsylvanians to take caution and reduce their risk for mosquito
bites,” DEP Secretary E. Christopher Abruzzo said. “Using a personal insect
repellant or staying indoors during dawn and dusk will help prevent exposure to
mosquitoes that transmit WNV breed in areas with standing and stagnant water.
These areas can include urban catch basins, clogged gutters, discarded tires,
poorly maintained swimming pools, flower pots and other types of plastic
steps to eliminate standing water around the home include:
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.
roof gutters cleaned every year, particularly if the leaves from nearby
trees have a tendency to clog the drains.
over plastic wading pools and wheelbarrows when not in use.
not let water stagnate in birdbaths.
ornamental pools, or stock them with fish.
and chlorinate swimming pools, and remove standing water from pool covers.
landscaping to eliminate standing water that collects on your property.
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.
continue to survey affected communities to monitor WNV. When necessary, DEP
will conduct larval and adult control activities to reduce the risk to human
health. These efforts will continue through fall.
For a fact
sheet on WNV, including symptoms, please visit the Department of Health’s
webpage, www.health.state.pa.us, and click on “West Nile Virus Fact
Sheet” under “What’s Hot.”
information, including current test results for mosquitoes, birds and horses,
visit www.westnile.state.pa.us and click on the Pennsylvania map
for WNV data tables, or call 877-PA HEALTH.
Witman, DEP; 717-787-1323