Mosquitoes in Suffolk tested positive for West Nile Virus

Mosquitoes in Suffolk tested positive for West Nile Virus

DEP's program says they capture and sample mosquitoes statewide and there have been two positive West Nile Virus tests in Montour County, one was in Danville, the other in Mahoning Township. Some predatory birds become infected after eating sick or dead birds that were already infected with the virus. West Nile Virus can lead to a potentially deadly form of encephalitis.

Residents are reminded to protect themselves from mosquito bites and mosquito-borne diseases. Humans that are bitten by an infected mosquito may show symptoms 3 to 15 days after being bitten.

No human cases of the virus have turned up this year in Pennsylvania, but in previous years, humans have contracted the disease.

Three residents were diagnosed and hospitalized due to West Nile infections past year.

"Most people who become infected don't have any symptoms".

People who are experiencing symptoms of West Nile virus are encouraged to contact their local health care provider.

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The agency said it expects more cases during the year. It is usually older adults, those over 50 years old, who run a higher risk of getting a severe infection, with a high fever and flu-like symptoms.

There is no specific treatment, but supportive treatment is provided as with other severe viral illnesses.

Catherine Brown said the discovery of the virus carrying mosquitoes is just about on schedule.

Wear shoes, socks, long trousers, and a long-sleeved shirt when outdoors for long periods of time, or when mosquitoes are more active. Apply insect repellent containing DEET to exposed skin and clothing.

Homeowners should drain standing water where mosquitoes could lay eggs and fix screens when necessary. For a more extensive discussion go to ISDH's West Nile Page.

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