More mosquitoes means more West Nile worries

Walter Perez Image
Thursday, August 9, 2018
More mosquitoes means more West Nile worries
More mosquitoes means more West Nile worries. Annie McCormick reports during Action News at 10 p.m. on August 8, 2018.

DOYLESTOWN, Pa. (WPVI) -- The rainy, hot, and humid days of summer have been miserable for most of us, but mosquitoes are loving it.

So much so, that it's become one of the worst seasons on record, and that has health officials here worried about West Nile Virus.

"To date we have over 130 positive pools of mosquitoes. We probably have 80 or more positive traps of mosquitoes. And they run through probably half of the counties, townships, and boroughs," said Philip Smith of the Bucks County Health Department. "That's a lot for this time of year."

In fact, state health officials say the number of infected mosquitoes is 50% higher than any year since West Nile first arrived in the US nearly 20 years ago.

The good news is, so far, there has only been one diagnosed human case of West Nile in Pennsylvania this year.

"The one person who was positive in Pennsylvania currently is a 70-year-old man from Allegheny County I believe."

Still, the Pennsylvania Department of Health has issued an advisory through the Health Advisory Network to alert medical professionals about the risk of West Nile Virus this year.

Karen Verderame, of the entomology department at the Academy of Natural Sciences, says it's important to do what you can around your house to minimize mosquito breeding grounds.

"Dumping any standing water out of pools, pots and even man-made things like cans and cups because some mosquitoes can actually lay their eggs, and even though there may not be a lot of water, the eggs will remain dormant until the water comes back and then still hatch," she said.

A number of communities are spraying for mosquitoes. For a schedule, check your local health department's website.


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