The initiative is designed to ensure mosquito populations stay in check and prevent the spread of West Nile Virus.
In total, the state awarded nearly $2.1 million to 26 counties.
“West Nile Virus is a problem that doesn’t seem to be going away,” Bizzarro said. “Thanks to this grant, Erie County will be better prepared to survey and control mosquitoes that carry the virus.”
In 2013, the virus was detected in 42 counties in Pennsylvania, including Erie.
Eleven humans tested positive for the virus, but all resided in the southeastern part of the state.
Twelve mosquito and five avian samples tested positive for the virus in Erie County.
An infected mosquito bite can transmit West Nile Virus to humans, birds and horses.
In humans, the virus can cause West Nile fever and encephalitis, a potentially deadly inflammation of the brain.
Most people infected by the virus do not present any symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report there are no medications to treat the virus.
Bizzarro urged residents to reduce their risk of being infected by using insect repellent and wearing protective clothing.
He also encouraged residents to remove standing water from their properties in preparation for mosquito season.
To file a mosquito complaint, report a dead bird or obtain more information about West Nile Virus, visit http://https://mail.nexstar.tv/owa/redir.aspx?C=1MQtQiM3Y0WaHASd7ZDDvZ4TDwT0LdEI7nImAJfKXTLnLJcvBI04rlTt6n9g6OFQHkGsvlmtEqU.&URL=http%3a%2f%2fwww.westnile.state.pa.us or call (717) 346-8243.
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