Experts warn bad year for West Nile

July 15, 2010 4:13:58 PM PDT
Perhaps it's the heat and all the rain, but we're seeing the potential of a very bad season for West Nile Virus.

Harry Nuss of Newtown Square, Pa. knows all too well the havoc one mosquito can cause.

Two years ago he spent 6 days in the ICU. He was treated for a severe case of West Nile Virus. It caused him to have high fevers and seizures.

"My wife was worried b/because they told her I may not make it, or I may end up in the wheelchair or in a nursing home," Nuss said.

But fortunately, he recovered. However, others could be at risk. Health officials in Pennsylvania say it could be a bad year for West Nile Virus.

They are reporting higher numbers of positive mosquito pools earlier in the season.

It's especially bad in Delaware County.

So far, 26 mosquito pools have tested positive there out of 305. Last year, they had only 16 positive samples for the whole season.

New Jersey officials are also reporting higher numbers so far this year.

That's why health officials are reminding people to take precautions.

First, if you have standing water in or around your home, get rid of it. Experts say even a small amount of water can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Amy Nardi of the Delaware County's Intercommunity Health also suggests if you *can't get rid of some standing water, use mosquito dunks with BTI.

"There are directions on there, drop it in and it help control the mosquito larvae," Nardi said.

It's also recommended people wear insect repellant with DEET when outside during dusk and dawn.

While most cases of West Nile Virus are mild, some can be deadly.

Nuss tells anyone with medical problems or over the age of 60 to take the disease seriously.

"You've got to be careful," Nuss said.