West Nile discovered in Pennsylvania

Aug 03, 2011

Mosquitoes in Pennsylvania carrying West Nile virus

Mosquitoes found in Erie County Pennsylvania tested positive for West Nile virus, according to the Erie-Times News. The number of disease carrying bugs is expected to rise as the summer goes on, especially during hot, dry conditions.

"We're seeing a lot of mosquitoes in our traps, and we're seeing them a lot earlier than usual," Karen Tobin, Erie County's West Nile virus coordinator, told the media outlet.

Mosquitoes can transmit West Nile to humans, possibly increasing the number of life insurance claims in the area, but people with healthy immune systems are typically safe. The difficulty with infection happens after individuals scratch the bites and open them, according to the news source. Experts feel that avoiding being bitten is the best way to prevent against infection.

People should stay inside in the early morning and evening when mosquitoes are more likely to bite. Wearing lightweight pants and long-sleeved shirts may help limit the number of bites an individual gets, and using bug spray will help as well.

The virus does not usually cause symptoms or illness, but people over the age of 50 and those with chronic disease may suffer from serous complications from encephalitis or meningitis.  

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