Pennsylvania Health Dept. reports first West Nile Virus cases of 2013

west nile virus
Credit: Metro File Photo

The Pennsylvania Department of Health has detected the state’s first probable human cases of West Nile Virus in 2013, the agency announced Friday.

Officials said a Montgomery County man was hospitalized due to West Nile Virus, while a York County man also tested positive for the infection but was not hospitalized.

Regular mosquito population surveillance conducted by the Department of Environmental Protection has so far detected West Nile Virus-infected mosquitos in 36 counties, but authorities warned the infection is likely present in other areas, as well.

However, the results of regular statewide sampling of more than one million mosquitos has turned up relatively low amounts of West Nile Virus, leading experts to conclude Pennsylvania is this year seeing localized outbreaks of the virus, as opposed to the statewide outbreak that occurred last year.

“DEP has worked diligently all summer long to monitor and control the mosquito population,” Acting DEP Secretary Chris Abruzzo said in a release.

“We are committed to continuing this effort until West Nile Virus no longer poses a threat to our health.”

Residents are in the meantime strongly urged to minimize their exposure to mosquitos.

“Our first positive human case of West Nile Virus serves as a reminder of the importance of prevention and education,” Secretary of Health Michael Wolf said in a statement.

“There are a few simple steps we can all take to help prevent the spread of this virus among our families and in our communities.”

Those include eliminating standing and stagnant water, which act as a breeding ground for virus transmitting mosquitos.

Pennsylvanians are advised to remove any flower pots, discarded tires, ornamental pools, birdbaths or other objects near homes that could collect standing water, to drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers left outdoors, to clean and chlorinate swimming pools, and to have roof gutters cleaned every year.

Standing water that can’t be eliminated should be treated with BTI products, which kill mosquito larvae and are sold at outdoor supply and home improvement stores.

Mosquitos are most active at dawn and dusk but can bite at any time.

State officials advise citizens to, when outdoors, consistently use DEET-containing insect repellants and to cover exposed skin.

The Department of Environmental Protection will through October continue to survey mosquito populations to monitor the size and scope of the West Nile Virus and will, when necessary, conduct control activities to lessen the threat to human health.

For more information on Pennsylvania’s West Nile Virus control program, including up-to-date results on confirmed positive cases, click here.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Winning $7 million New York lottery ticket sold…

The only $7 million winning New York Lottery ticket for Monday's Cash4Life drawing was sold at a Queens 7-Eleven, officials said on Tuesday.

Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Gossip

Playing the Field: Valentine's Day coupling edition

  It’s Valentine’s Day, a day created by Hallmark to make couples spend loads and loads of money on candy, flowers and gourmet dinners. Or…

Music

Incubus singer Brandon Boyd on his newest act,…

The rocker is releasing two new passion projects.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

College

Playing the Field: Valentine's Day coupling edition

  It’s Valentine’s Day, a day created by Hallmark to make couples spend loads and loads of money on candy, flowers and gourmet dinners. Or…

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

Career

What do you wear to a career fair?…

Getting that gig starts with presenting the most polished and memorable version of yourself, so refer to our expert fashion advice.

Style

Editors pick: Margiela's finger armor ring

These cool rings from Maison Martin Margiela are designed to overlap over the finger, covering each joint like armor.

Style

Givenchy champions diversity

Riccardo Tisci's uses a variety of ethnically diverse ladies for his spring campaign including Erykah Badu.

Wellbeing

Don't settle for the hotel fitness center with…

Travelers who want to skip the hotel fitness center in favor of local gyms that may offer better equipment, classes and amenities can turn to…