West Nile Virus: Official case in HT

New from Rep. Greg Vitali:


Haverford Twp. woman contracts West Nile virus

On Sept. 11, the state Health Department confirmed that a Haverford Township woman was the latest to contract West Nile virus, bringing the total number of human cases in Pennsylvania to six. Other than saying that she began experiencing symptoms in late August, the department is not releasing further information.

Bites from certain mosquito species carrying the West Nile virus can cause humans to contract West Nile encephalitis, an infection that can result in an inflammation of the brain. All residents in areas where virus activity has been identified are at risk of the disease. So far, 42 counties have been identified with the West Nile virus this year, with the human cases reported in Philadelphia, York, Delaware and Montgomery counties.

The state is spraying to kill the mosquito population, but there are things you can do to deter mosquitoes from breeding and minimize your risks:
•    Dispose of cans, buckets and other containers and items that hold water, since stagnant water is where most mosquitoes breed.
•    Drill holes in the bottom of outdoor recycling containers.
•    Clean clogged roof gutters.
•    Turn over wheelbarrows and wading pools when not in use.
•    Make sure screens fit tightly over doors and windows to keep mosquitoes out of homes.
•    Consider wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants and socks when outdoors,
•    When possible, reduce outdoor exposure at dawn and dusk during peak mosquito periods, usually April through October.
•    Use insect repellents according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

More information about West Nile virus and the state’s surveillance and control program is available online at www.westnile.state.pa.us.

Greg Vitali
State Representative
166th Legislative District