(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — More mosquitoes in Erie County have tested positive for West Nile Virus this summer, this time in the City of Erie.
The Erie County Department of Health has confirmed that a mosquito group collected in the City of Erie on Aug. 10, 2023 has tested positive for West Nile virus.
At this time, no human cases have been reported in Erie County.
Most recently, a mosquito group collected Aug. 1 in Harborcreek tested positive for West Nile Virus, while a separate group tested positive for Jamestown Canyon Virus.
This latest group to test positive is the sixth mosquito group to test positive in Erie County in 2023.
Certain species of mosquitoes carry West Nile virus. When transmitted to people, this virus can cause an infection that can result in an inflammation of the brain.
There are no vaccines to prevent or medicines to treat Jamestown Canyon Virus or West Nile Virus infection.
Anyone can get the virus, but older adults and people with compromised immune systems have the highest risk of developing severe illness because their bodies have a harder time fighting off disease.
Preventing mosquito bites:
- Insect repellants with DEET can be applied as directed to exposed skin and thin clothing.
- Stay indoors at dawn, dusk and early evening when mosquitoes are most active. If you must go outdoors, wear a long-sleeved shirt and long pants.
- Use the proper type of lighting outside. Incandescent lights attract mosquitoes, while florescent lights neither attract nor repel mosquitoes.
- Make sure window and door screens are “bug tight.”
- Mosquitoes are repelled by high winds, so electric fans may provide some relief at outdoor events.
Tips for reducing the number of mosquitoes near your home:
- Dispose of any refuse that can hold water—such as tin cans, containers and used tires.
- Products such as “mosquito dunks” can be obtained from garden centers.
- Drill holes in the bottoms of recycling containers and check uncovered junk piles.
- Clean clogged roof gutters every year. Check storm drains, leaky faucets and window wells.
- Empty accumulated water from wheelbarrows, boats, cargo trailers, toys and ceramic pots. If possible, turn them over when not using them.
- Do not allow water to stagnate in birdbaths, ornamental pools, water gardens and swimming
More information can be found at dep.pa.gov.