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Mosquito Tests Positive for West Nile Virus in College Township

by on September 16, 2020 8:04 PM

Centre County reported on Wednesday its third mosquito sample to test positive for West Nile virus this season.

The sample was recently collected in College Township and the results were reported by The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection's Vector Management to the Centre County Planning and Community Development Office. 

Centre County Mosquito Disease Control Program staff are conducting additional mosquito surveillance, sampling and larval control, according to a release on Wednesday.

On Aug. 27, the county reported that two mosquito samples collected in State College had tested positive for West Nile virus.

West Nile Virus is a mosquito-borne disease that produces severe neurological symptoms in about 1% of humans that become infected as the result of a bite by an infected mosquito. Most people do not develop any symptoms, but some may experience headaches, body aches, joint pains, vomiting, diarrhea or rash. 

Residents are advised to take pre-emptive measures by cleaning up, reduce yard clutter and dump out any sources of stagnant water such as used tires, ornamental ponds, poorly functioning gutters, unused swimming pools, buckets, toys and tarps. Most mosquitos in residential areas come from artificial containers left to collect stagnant water.

Stormwater management systems can contribute to mosquito issues and are monitored by the county Mosquito Disease Control Program staff.

The Centre County surveillance and control program is funded by a Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection grant. Between mid-April and October, licensed personnel trap adult mosquitoes in populated areas and send them to DEP for testing.

From May through October, mosquitoes complete their life cycle within five to seven days. Residents should use repellents when spending time outside. As a last resort, they can purchase insecticides from garden centers and hardware stores to spray in their yard but need to be sure to follow the label instructions.

Last year, Centre County had only two confirmed cases of West Nile virus — one in mosquito and one in a bird. In 2018, there were 90 confirmed cases: 57 in mosquitoes, 18 in birds, 11 in horses and four in humans. 

Centre County residents can report mosquito concerns through the Pennsylvania West Nile Virus website or by contacting the Centre County Mosquito Disease Control Program at 814-355-6791.

Geoff Rushton is managing editor for Contact him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter at @geoffrushton.
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