West Nile virus detected in mosquito
The West Nile Virus has been detected in a mosquito in Carroll Township, according to a news release by state Rep. Peter J. Daley.
According to Daley, Washington County Department of Public Safety’s West Nile Virus staff and the state Department of Environmental Protection are responding to the finding.
The county is considered at low risk for the virus, according to Pennsylvania’s West Nile Virus Control Program, but it is one of 32 counties in the state where the virus has been detected.
While most people infected with West Nile Virus do not end up with symptoms, about 1 in 5 people will develop a fever and other symptoms. Less than 1 percent of infected people will develop West Nile encephalitis, a sometimes fatal, neurologic illness.
But the state Health Department said all residents in areas where virus activity has been identified are at risk of contracting West Nile encephalitis.
There are no medications to treat West Nile Virus or vaccines to prevent it, but people can reduce the risk of contracting the West Nile virus by being aware of peak mosquito hours (dusk to dawn), wearing long-sleeves and pants, applying insect repellent, draining standing water where mosquitoes lay their eggs, and installing and repairing screens.
More information about West Nile virus and the state’s surveillance and control program is available online at www.westnile.state.pa.us.