(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — A second group of mosquitoes has tested positive for West Nile virus in Erie County.
The Erie County Department of Health reported today that a group of mosquitoes collected in Millcreek Township on July 27 tested positive for the virus. It’s the second group of mosquitoes to test positive in Erie County this year. The first positive group also was collected on July 27. That group was found in Northwest Erie and was announced late last week.
Given the positive tests, the department of health plans to do additional monitoring of the affected areas, and control work will be conducted if necessary.
According to the department of health, West Nile virus can cause “West Nile encephalitis,” an infection that can cause brain swelling. Older adults and people with weak immune systems have the highest risk of developing severe illness.
The Erie County Department of Health recommended two broad ways to prevent West Nile virus: preventing bites and reducing the number of mosquitoes.
To prevent bites, the department recommends: using insect repellants with DEET; using proper outdoor lighting (incandescent lights attract mosquitoes, and fluorescent lights neither attract nor repel them); using chemical treatments for standing water (such as “mosquito dunks”); having tight window and door screens; using fans at outdoor events to repel mosquitoes with high winds.
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To prevent mosquitoes around homes, the department recommends: disposing of anything that can hold standing water (like cans, containers, and used tires); drilling holes in the bottoms of recycling containers and checking uncovered junk piles; cleaning gutters and checking storm drains, leaking faucets and window wells; emptying standing water from wheelbarrows, boats, trailers, toys and ceramic pots, and turn them over when not in use; and aerating and/or treating water where possible.