Erie, Pennsylvania (WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — More mosquitos in Erie County have tested positive for West Nile virus.
The Erie County Department of Health announced on Thursday, Aug. 18 that mosquitoes collected on Aug. 11 in Millcreek Township tested positive for the virus. This is the third mosquito group to test positive in Erie County in 2022.
The Health Department noted no human cases have been reported in Erie County at this time.
The first group of mosquitoes to test positive this year was collected in northwest Erie on July 27. The second group of mosquitoes to test positive for the virus was collected in Millcreek Township on July 27.
Additional monitoring for mosquitoes will be done in the area where the mosquito group was collected, and appropriate control work will be conducted, the Health Department stated.
Certain species of mosquitoes carry West Nile virus. When transmitted to people, this virus can cause West Nile encephalitis, an infection that can result in an inflammation of the brain.
In July, Pennsylvania reported its first probable human cases of West Nile Virus (WNV) infection in 2022 in Berks, Lancaster, Luzerne, and Philadelphia counties.
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) online map, mosquitoes in surrounding Crawford and Warren and Venango counties have not tested positive for West Nile virus yet this year.
Tips for preventing mosquito bites:
- Insect repellants with DEET can be applied (sparingly) to exposed skin. Spray thin clothing with
- repellent since mosquitoes can bite through it. Be sure to follow all directions on product labels.
- Stay indoors at dawn, dusk, and in the 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.
- Products such as “mosquito dunks” can be obtained from garden centers.
- 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.
- Reduce the number of mosquitoes around homes and neighborhoods by getting rid of standing water, where mosquitoes lay their eggs.
- Dispose of any refuse that can hold water—such as tin cans, containers, and, in particular, used tires. Tires have become the most important mosquito breeding site in the country.
- Drill holes in the bottoms of recycling containers, and check uncovered junk piles. Clean clogged roof gutters every year, and 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 pools or their covers. Ornamental pools can be aerated or stocked with fish. Swimming pools should be cleaned and chlorinated when not in use.
More information on the West Nile Virus Control Program can be found at Westnile.state.pa.us