WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WHTM) – The Dauphin County Conservation District has collected its first West Nile Virus-infected mosquito sample of the year.
The infected sample was collected on Aug. 9 in Washington Township. No human cases of West Nile Virus have been reported in Dauphin County.
“The county’s WNV Control Program is increasing surveillance and control measures to reduce the mosquito population and prevent the virus from spreading,” said Dauphin County Board of Commissioners’ Chairman Jeff Haste, who oversees the Conservation District.
Certain species of mosquitoes carry WNV, which, when transmitted to people, can cause West Nile encephalitis, an infection that can result in an inflammation of the brain.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, all residents of areas where virus activity has been identified are at risk of getting West Nile encephalitis.
“Mosquitoes thrive and replicate faster in warm, humid temperatures — like the weather we’re having now,” said Commissioner Mike Pries. “Older adults and those with compromised immune systems are most likely to become ill and develop severe complications from the virus.”
“Although the risk of contracting WNV from an infected mosquito is small, people, particularly the elderly and those with compromised immune systems, should try to reduce their risk,” said Commissioner George P. Hartwick, III.
For information about West Nile Virus and Zika Virus symptoms in humans, contact the Pennsylvania Department of Health at 1-877-PA-Health.