Philadelphia spraying to fight West Nile - 6at4

PHILADELPHIA - August 23, 2012

In Abington Township the focus was on a cemetery in Ardsley and nearby PenBryn Park and pool.

Traps in both those areas have captured mosquitoes that tested positive for West Nile virus.

Philadelphia health department workers sprayed Pennypack Park.

Like much of the country there has been a dramatic upswing in the area in the number of reported cases of the disease this year.

The government says the death toll from the mosquito-borne illness is now up to 41. Even more have been sickened, developing severe fevers and in the worst cases paralysis.

At last check more than 1,100 cases had been reported in 47 states Including 2 in New Jersey and 8 in Pennsylvania. There's also one apparent case in Philadelphia that is expected to be confirmed Friday.

As for spraying most welcome it, but still have some reservation.

"I don't know enough about what they are doing," said Jim Ball. "Back in the 60s, they would have sprayed an entire pool of kids with DDT, so I assume they know more about what they are spraying."

State and Philadelphia officials say the spraying it is not a threat to humans or pets.

The spray stays aloft and kills mosquitoes on contact. It is derived from the chrysanthemum flower.

West Nile Virus from the mosquitoes, when transmitted to people, can trigger an infection that can cause inflammation of the brain.

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