West Nile virus spreads to Bucks Co.

FAIRLESS HILLS, Pa. - August 20, 2012

Bucks County announced its first human case of the disease, but says so far this summer, 75 mosquitoes have tested positive for the virus.

"It's a shame because I love to be outside all the time, but I'll have to get some repellant and take some precautions," Tom Flynn of Fairless Hills said.

Repellant with DEET is your best protection according to Bucks County's West Nile coordinator Philip Smith, who also says it's imperative to rid your property of standing water.

"If you have a birdbath, change it every day; if you have children's wading pools, don't let them sit outside for weeks," Smith said.

The county is doing its part by spraying infected areas.

Tonight's target is Falls Township, the Thornridge development and Fallsington section will be sprayed at 7:30; people who live nearby should not be concerned about the chemicals as the toxicity is very low.

"You won't see it or smell it, there's no chance it will bother fish or ponds or animals, outside of maybe closing your doors until the truck passes, there won't be any issues," Smith said.

Smith says now through the end of September is the prime time people can fall victim to West Nile virus.

Mosquitoes latch onto humans when birds begin migrating.

"Mosquitoes prefer to bite birds, particularly robins, so when there are no robins around, they'll turn around and bite you," Smith said.

For the latest information from the state, go to: Pa. West Nile Control Program.

Mosquito control crews will be spraying in the following areas this week, weather permitting:

Monday, Aug. 20: Bucks Co. - portions of Falls Township. Rain date, Tuesday, Aug. 21

Tuesday, Aug. 21: Delaware Co. -of Tuesday, Aug. 21, portions of Sharon Hill, Collingdale, Yeadon and Darby boroughs and Darby Township. Rain date, Wednesday, Aug. 22.

Tuesday, Aug. 21: in West Chester Borough, West Goshen Township, and East Bradford Township. The area is between West Miner St (Rte 842) to the north, Birmingham Rd to the west, South New St to the east and Tigue Rd to the south. Rain date, Wednesday, Aug. 22. Residents are urged to stay indoors and close windows during treatment for approximately one hour after spraying is complete.

August and September are the peak times for West Nile virus. People are urged to "Fight The Bite," to prevent mosquito bites.

Avoid going out at dawn or dusk when mosquitoes are most active.

Consider wearing long-sleeved shirt, long pants, and socks if you are outdoors at that time, or in areas with large numbers of mosquitoes.

Use an effective inset repellent, such as ones containing DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus.

Get rid of any standing water. Mosquitoes need only 1/4 inch of water to breed.

Make sure screens on windows and doors fit tightly.

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