Lancaster

West Nile cases high this year

LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) - Pennsylvania Department of Health statistics show two people have died this year from symptoms related to West Nile virus.

One of the people was in Lebanon County and the other was in Lancaster County.

In Lancaster County, experts have found mosquitoes with the virus in nearly 300 different locations.

Olivia Bingeman, the West Nile coordinator for Lebanon and Lancaster counties, said the positive samples aren't just focused in one specific area.

"It's not a number to feel good about," Bingeman said. "I think a lot of this is due to the wet weather we've been experiencing, along with the extreme heat the summer has brought as well."

In the Midstate, there have been 14 human cases of West Nile this year.  Bingeman said that number could jump even higher.

Experts typically point to the end of September and October as a time when they see a spike in human cases of the virus.

"We're out doing sprays at night time," Bingeman said. "We're out doing barrier sprays that we can do during the day. Any kind of control we can do we have been doing."

West Nile virus typically impacts those with a weak immune system. Bingeman said the young and elderly need to pay close attention to the pests for the next month.

"Hopefully, they'll be gone when it gets colder," she said.


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