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No West Nile funding needed in Butler County as DEP chooses grant recipients

| Saturday, April 19, 2014, 5:15 p.m.

The Department of Environmental Protection announced its most recent round of West Nile Virus Control Program grant recipients and Butler County wasn't one of them.

That's good news in this case. DEP spokeswoman Amanda Witman said Butler has a significantly lower risk of the disease than the 26 other counties awarded grants.

In 2013, there were no positive human, avian, veterinary or mosquito cases of West Nile Virus found in Butler County, according to DEP surveillance data.

The funding is used to cover costs associated with surveying and controlling mosquitoes that carry West Nile Virus. It's given to counties based on need.

Neighboring Allegheny County received $168,114 from the program, the second-highest amount from $2.1 million in grants. Philadelphia was highest with $231,298.

Witman said the grants are population driven. Urban environments with large population densities tend to have more standing water, which is where mosquitoes breed and lay eggs.

“There is a correlation between population density and mosquito prevalence,” Witman said.

Rachel Farkas is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-779-6902 or rfarkas@tribweb.com.

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