The Erie County Health Department confirms that a group of mosquitoes collected in Millcreek Township on August 11, 2022 tested positive for West Nile virus. This is the third group of mosquitoes to test positive in Erie County in 2022. So far, no human cases have been reported in Erie County.
Additional monitoring will be conducted for the presence of mosquitoes in the collection area of this group of mosquitoes. Depending on the number and species of mosquitoes detected, appropriate control work will be carried out.
Some species of mosquitoes carry West Nile virus. When transmitted to humans, this virus can cause West Nile encephalitis, an infection that can lead to inflammation of the brain. Anyone can contract the virus, but the elderly and those with compromised immune systems are at the highest risk of developing severe disease because it is harder for their bodies to fight off the disease.
Prevent mosquito bites with these tips:
- Insect repellents with DEET can be applied (sparingly) to exposed skin. Spray thin clothes with repellent as mosquitoes can bite them. Be sure to follow all product label directions.
- Stay indoors at dawn, dusk and early evening when mosquitoes are most active. If you need to go out, wear a long-sleeved shirt and long pants.
- Use the proper type of outdoor lighting. Incandescent bulbs attract mosquitoes, while fluorescent bulbs neither attract nor repel mosquitoes.
- Products such as “mosquito repellents” can be purchased at garden centers.
- Make sure window and door screens are “tight”.
- Strong winds repel mosquitoes, so electric fans can provide some relief during outdoor activities.
Reduce the number of mosquitoes around homes and neighborhoods by getting rid of standing water where mosquitoes lay their eggs.
- Dispose of any rubbish that may hold water, such as tin cans, containers and in particular used tyres. Tires have become the most important breeding ground for mosquitoes in the country.
- Drill holes in the bottoms of recycling bins and check for uncovered piles of rubbish.
- Clean clogged roof gutters, check storm drains, leaky faucets and window wells annually.
- Clean up accumulated water from wheelbarrows, boats, cargo trailers, toys and ceramic pots. If possible, turn them over when not in use.
- Avoid stagnant water in birdbaths, ornamental pools, water gardens and swimming pools or their covers. Decorative pools can be aerated or stocked with fish. Swimming pools should be cleaned and chlorinated when not in use.
More information is available at westnile.state.pa.us.