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Dauphin County Samples Positive for West Nile Virus



Add Dauphin County to the growing list of Pennsylvania counties that tested positive for West Nile Virus in 2019.

Dauphin County Conservation District officials collected the first mosquito contamination sample in the city of Washington on Aug. 9 . No cases of humans have been reported The virus, according to Commissioner Jeff Haste, who heads the Conservation Area.

"The West Nile County Virus Control Program increases surveillance and control measures to reduce mosquito populations and prevent the spread of the virus," Haste said in a county statement.

Some types of mosquitoes carry the virus. When transmitted to humans, West Nile virus is known to cause encephalitis, which is an infection that can cause brain inflammation.

All residents near the area where the virus is detected are considered at risk of West Nile encephalitis infection, according to Federal Centers for Disease Control

"Mosquitoes thrive and reproduce faster in warm and humid temperatures ̵

1; like the weather we have now, "said Commissioner Mike Price. "Older adults and those who have compromised the immune system are most likely to become ill and develop severe complications of the virus."

Dauphin County recommends the following:

  • Buy products with Bti (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis) – a naturally occurring bacteria that kill mosquito larvae but are safe for humans, pets and plants – for stagnant pools of water in the grass and garden.
  • Remove any standing water in pots, containers, pool covers, tires, wheelbarrows, curving pools, roof gutters and other containers that hold water.
  • Make sure screens fit snugly over doors and windows to prevent mosquitoes outside homes.
  • Consider wearing long sleeved shirts, long pants, and socks when outdoors, especially when mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk, or in areas known for having a large number of mosquitoes.
  • Reduced exposure of outdoor dawn and dusk during peak mosquito periods, typically April to October.
  • Use insect repellents according to the manufacturer's instructions. An effective repellent will contain DEET, picaridin or lemon eucalyptus oil. Consult a pediatrician or family doctor if you have questions about the use of repellent on children, as the repellent is not recommended for children under the age of two months.

"Although the risk of contracting West Nile mosquito-borne virus is small – especially the elderly and people with compromised immune systems – they should try to reduce their risk," says Commissioner George P. Hartwick, III.


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