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Mosquito collected in Cumberland County tests positive for West Nile Virus

The sample, which was recently collected in Dickinson Township, is the county's first positive test of the year, according to the county's Vector Control Office.

CUMBERLAND COUNTY, Pa. — The Cumberland County Vector Control Office announced Monday it has been notified that a mosquito collected in Dickinson Township has tested positive for West Nile Virus, the county's communications office said in a press release.

It is the first positive sample collected in the county this year, the press release said.

As of this week, Cumberland County has conducted 59 mosquito control treatments, according to the release.

“Our office has already conducted mosquito spraying in Dickinson Township to help reduce the mosquito population,” said John Bitner, Cumberland County Chief of Vector Control. “We will continue to monitor this area and utilize mosquito control throughout the county when needed.”  

County residents can help prevent the diseases spread by mosquitos by:

  • Using mosquito repellants, wearing longs sleeved shirts and pants.
  • Taking extra precautions around dusk, the peak of female mosquito feeding.
  • Securing window and doors screens, so mosquitos can’t make it into your home.
  • Eliminating stagnate water around your property.
  • Treating water sources that cannot be drained, mosquito dunks or bits that contain Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (Bti), which kills larvae. These products are safe for use around humans, and pets and can be found at hardware stores and other local retailers. 

Mosquitoes transmit WNV by feeding on infected birds and transmit the disease when biting another bird, animal, or human, the county said.

The county’s WNV program applies an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Plan to control mosquitoes, while limiting the effects to people and the environment. 

Vector Control will continue to collect and monitor the mosquito population and to actively treat water habitat to limit future generations of mosquitoes. 

The virus is not spread by person-to-person contact, the county said. One in five people infected with WNV develop a mild infection called West Nile Fever; aches, fever, skin rash and swollen lymph nodes are symptoms of this infection. 

With rest and fluids, most people recover in a few days, according to the county.

Less than one percent of infections develop into the life-threatening West Nile Encephalitis. Symptoms in severe cases include a high fever, headache, neck stiffness, muscle weakness, disorientation, tremors, and convulsions. This infection requires immediate medical treatment. 

For more information, visit  www.ccpa.net/vector.

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