It’s official – mosquitoes in Phoenixville have tested positive.
8 people have been hospitalized statewide for West Nile Virus. The closest cases were 2 men in nearby Delaware County, 1 female in Lancaster County, and 1 female in Bucks County, but so far none in Chester County. 3 people were diagnosed with West Nile Fever and 5 unfortunately were diagnosed with encephalitis/meningitis. All of this information can be viewed in detail at PA’s West Nile Virus control program website by clicking here.
There were 86 total positives of West Nile Virus collected from samples in Chester County. 84 of these were from mosquitos and 2 were from birds. 5 of the positive mosquitos were from the Phoenixville Borough – so far none from East Pikeland or Schuylkill Townships.
I had a bad feeling this was coming when Downingtown Does reported earlier this week that mosquitoes had tested positive for West Nile Virus at Marinelli Park in Downingtown Borough.
Now the Pennsylvania Department of health has confirmed that 2 mosquitoes in the Phoenixville Borough were diagnosed with the virus. 3 birds were also found to be carrying the virus; however, there have been no confirmed human cases.
The mosquito traps were placed in various locations as part of routine surveillance by Health Department officials. The Health Department will continue to monitor positive areas as well as surrounding areas and will consider control activities when appropriate.
Experts feel it is likely that our wet fall followed by a mild winter and warm spring contributed to the increase in cases of West Nile Virus we are seeing this year.
The chance of contracting West Nile Virus from an infected mosquito is small and chances of becoming seriously ill are even smaller; however, the Health Department recommends that individuals take personal precautions to minimize the possibility of being bitten by infected mosquitoes. This includes staying indoors at dawn or dusk when mosquitoes are most active, wearing long sleeve shirts and long pants when outside and using insect repellents when mosquitoes are active. The heightened concern will probably remain until the first frost which usually occurs in mid-October.
For more information about West Nile Virus in Chester County, visit us at www.chesco.org/health or call 610-344-6752.
You can also get more information at http://www.westnile.state.pa.us/. They have an interactive state map where you can click on each county to see the study results. They also provide information about things such as the use of products like Bti to protect your home.