Officials warn about West Nile as suspected infection tested

Grant Boone
August 4, 2018

The positive test came from one of the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit's mosquito traps in Simcoe.

Health department director Dr. Sarah Moyer said in the release that precautions should be taken.

Prince George's County announced its first human case of the virus on Wednesday. Our goal is for that to be the only one. Always use according to label instructions.

Lehigh County, where there have been 50 positive pools, and Northampton County, with 26 pools, are the 13th- and 23rd-highest counties respectively, Helwig said.

The DEP and its county partners across the state have been conducting routine, localized spraying to control infected adult populations of mosquitoes. Last year, there was one non-fatal human case. These bodies of standing water are where mosquitoes lay their eggs.

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DRESS in long sleeves and trousers in areas where mosquitoes are active. Preventative measures include wearing long-sleeved shirts, long trousers, and using mosquito repellant containing an EPA-registered active ingredient, such as DEET or Picaridin.

Mosquito breeding and biting also increases with hot weather, Helwig said.

"Mosquitoes are weak flyers and won't travel far from where they are born - if there are mosquitoes in your backyard or neighborhood, they are likely laying eggs there as well", said Matt Helwig, a biolgist with the DEP mosquito program. Anyone who thinks they may be infected should see a doctor immediately, officials said.

In a very few cases, West Nile fever leads to encephalitis or meningitis with associated neck stiffness, confusion, or seizures.

"Public Health thanks the community for being diligent in removing standing water and eliminating the places where mosquitoes can breed", Callanan said.

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